Court Orders Regent Microfinance Bank to Pay Damages to Customer over Illegal Recovery Action

The Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja has ordered Regent Microfinance Bank Limited, Abuja to pay the sum of 1,100,000.00 (One Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) in damages to a customer of the Bank, Mr. Collins Unopah who trades under the name and style of Collazo Business Enterprises. The Court gave this judgment when Mr. Collins Unopah sued Regent Microfinance Bank for carrying out a forceful and illegal debt recovery exercise in his shop on 10th July, 2019 with over 20 staff of the Bank who carted away all the goods in his shop even when the loan facility he took from the Bank has not expired. The Court gave the judgment on 8th July, 2021 almost 2 years after the recovery action of the Bank which happened on 10th July, 2019.

Delivering the judgment, Honourable Elizabeth Jones Wonni, Chief Magistrate 1 sitting at Magistrate Court 18, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja made a declaration that the forceful self-help debt recovery action carried out by Regent Microfinance Bank on 10th July, 2019 is illegal, crude, violent and constitutes trespass. The Court went further to order Regent Microfinance Bank to return back to Mr. Collins Unopah all the goods carted away from his shop or the current market value of the goods. The Court noted that Regent Microfinance Bank had admitted in its letter dated 2nd September, 2019 that the only goods the Bank took away from the shop of Mr. Collins Unopah are 10 litres of grinded tomatoes (6 kegs); 25 litres of grinded tomatoes (1 keg); 8 bags of Cut Four Chicken; 7 bags of full chicken (1.6 kg); ½ carton of Cut Four Chicken (8.5 kg) and 1 carton of Kpala Fish and that the Bank has sold some of the goods.

In the judgment, the Court made a declaration that the action of Regent Microfinance Bank in selling the goods of Mr. Collins Unopah without a Court-sanctioned auction sale and without the presence, consent, authorization, mandate and prior notification to the Plaintiff (Mr. Collins Unopah) is illegal, unconstitutional, irresponsible, reprehensible, condemnable and is tantamount to a usurpation of judicial powers.

In a chat with the Plaintiff, Mr. Collins Unopah, he lamented that despite the judgment of the Court delivered since 8th July, 2021, Regent Microfinance Bank has adamantly refused to return his goods back to him and pay the 1,100,000.00 (One Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) damages awarded in his favour by the Court. He said the Bank is doing everything possible to frustrate him and has refused to allow him entrance into the Bank to lodge a complain. He appealed to well meaning Nigerians, human rights organizations, Central Bank of Nigeria and the general public to come to his aid to persuade Regent Microfinance Bank to comply with the judgment of the Court.


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