“It doesn’t look good at the moment for Skye bank operations in Osun State. In times like this when banks are fighting hard to stay afloat, Skye bank appears to be faced with a major business crisis in Osun, and it is indeed unclear at the moment how this development would effect the fortune of the bank in that state”- Edwin Azuka.
Business activities have been halted in the three branches of Skye Bank, Osogbo, the Osun State capital, including the pay point office of the bank within the premises of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospitals, after the state High Court officials sealed off the bank for breaching over three billion naira contract with Tuns Farms Nigeria Limited, Osogbo.
The court officials stormed the four branches of the bank in the morning when it had opened doors to customers and prevented transactions and other activities.
In the process, the staff were ordered to vacate their duty posts, while cars, generators and other movable property of the bank were carted away.
According to the writ of summons, Tuns Farms Nigeria Limited claimed that the bank had entered into an agreement with it in 2005 when it (the bank) offered it a credit facility of N414,000,000 to develop its Abuja project projected to earn it a net income of N1.152 billion, but the bank released only N150 million and thus frustrated the company’s project, leading to a huge loss in its investment.
According to the judgment signed on January 12, 2016 and obtained by our correspondent, the court is to seize any money, bank notes, cheques, bills of exchange, promissory notes, bonds or securities for money found within the Osogbo Judicial Division of the bank.
In a Certified True Copy of judgment delivered by Justice A. O. Ogunlade on March 14, 2014, he said: “I am convinced by overwhelming evidence laid before me that the defendant (Skye Bank) breached the fundamental terms of the contract in facility 11 of Exhibit PA1 without lawful justification and I hereby make an award of special damage in full to the Claimant, in the sum of N421,384,000, being the loss the claimant suffered due to the refusal and failure of the defendant to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract of 17th August, 2005.
The court further held: “The claimant through one of the paragraphs of its statement of claim has established the fact that the breach of the terms and conditions of the contract in facility 11 of Exhibit PA1 caused the claimant’s director and shareholder’s myriad of psychological trauma and emotional break down.”
“I am in agreement with the assertion of the claimant, considering the credible and in some areas uncontroverted evidence led before me that general damage should be awarded in this suit.
“I consider the sum of N25 million adequate as general damages to the claimant by the defendant in this suit.
Also, in the appeal filed by Skye Bank against Tuns International Holdings Ltd and Tuns Properties Ltd, dated May 8, 2015, Justice Mohammed Danjuma of the Court of Appeal held that “the appeal lacked merit and is hereby dismissed.”
Three High Court judges, Justices Oyejide Falola, A. O. Ogunlade and Adeigbe Aderibigbe, have presided over the matter and gave similar judgments.
Justice Falola on November 20, 2015 awarded N2.473 billion in favour of the claimant (Tuns Farms Nigeria Ltd), N150 million as general damages, while Justice Ogunlade awarded N421,384,000 and N25 million damages against the defendant (Skye Bank).
However, all efforts by the bank to win the case have remained futile as Justice Danjuma subsequently dismissed its petition on June 4, 2015.
Meanwhile, counsel to the claimant, Chief Duro Adeyele (SAN), while addressing journalists said Skye Bank felt aggrieved by the judgement and appealed at the Appeal Court in Akure but lost.
According to him, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgments of the High Court in their entirety.
Adeyele added that the court order might extend to other branches of the bank should the property of the bank that were seized fail to commensurate with the damages awarded to the claimant.sun.