A businessman, Surajudeen Yusuf, has dragged Zenith Bank of Nigeria Plc before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, over an alleged N2.58m fraud in his bank account.
Yusuf, in a statement of claims filed by his lawyer, Rasheed Fatoki, before Magistrate Christiana Adesola-Ikpatt, alleged that an employee of the bank, Kayode Sanusi, who marketed the bank to him, duped him of N2.58m.
According to him, Sanusi who served at the bank’s Coker Orile Branch, Lagos State and acting as an agent of the bank took some cheques from his chequebook and fraudulently withdrew various sums of money from his account.
He said he was not notified of the various fraudulent withdrawals as the transaction alert on his account was manipulated by Sanusi.
The statement of claims stated in part, “I was introduced to Zenith Bank by Sanusi and I thereafter opened an account with No. 1002211940.
“Having tore my chequebook without my knowledge, on or about December 3, 2010, Sanusi, the account officer of the bank, fraudulently withdrew N185, 000 from my account.
“Also on January 21, 2011, he withdrew the sum of N920, 000 and N380, 000 using various fictitious names.”
He further alleged that he paid the sum of N885, 000 into Sanusi’s personal account number 6091700965 for the purpose of opening a new account for him with the bank but that the money was not used for the purpose.
“Various bank tellers with which this money was paid into this account will be relied upon during trial,” the statement of claims stated.
Yusuf is seeking a declaration that Zenith Bank is liable to pay N2.58m being the sum fraudulently received by Sanusi from him while in the employ of the bank.
But Zenith Bank in a statement of defence filed on its behalf by its lawyer, Ukedu Julius, dismissed Yusuf’s claims and described them as “spurious.”
While insisting that Yusuf was the one who made the withdrawal of N1.48m from his account, the bank said it had never been negligent in its dealings with him.
It added that the allegation that the transaction notification was disabled was baseless as such could be done only on his instruction.
It said, “At no time in the course of banking relationship did Yusuf report the theft or loss of his cheque booklet or leaflet to us.
“The withdrawals of N185,000, N920,000, and 380,000 were done with his original cheque leaves 56, 58 and 59 with Yusuf’s true signature.”
The bank said the payment of N885, 000 into Sanusi’s account was outside the bank-customer relationship, adding that it could not be held liable for it.