One Nigerian Civil Servant and Polaris Bank Customer Identified as Mrs. Idongesit Nwoko has been awarded with the sum of N500,000 compensation by the State High Court in Akwa Ibom State as damages for a failed Point of Sales (POS) transaction.
Justice Bennett Ilaumo of the State High Court in Akwa Ibom State, gave the directive on Wednesday, 4th May 2022 for the bank’s failure to reverse the customer’s money within the 72-hour time frame required by the Nigeria Constitution.
During the court hearing, Mrs Nwoko stated that she made a N61,000 POS withdrawal on December 24, 2021, and she was debited without payment.
According to Premium Times, the plaintiff claimed that she made several efforts, and Multiple visits to a branch of the bank, and the money was not reversed until after 28 days.
Dissatisfied with the bank’s feedback to her complaint, She sought redress against Polaris Bank, through her lawyer, Utibe Nwoko, asking for her money and compensations.
After considering the case presented to Justice Ilaumo of the State High Court in Akwa Ibom and the Defence by the bank’s lawyers ruled that the plaintiff should get a Compensation of N500,000 because the bank was negligent in the discharge of its duty to the customer. Despite winning the lawsuit, Mrs. Nwoko may have to wait a while to execute the judgment, as Polaris has announced preparations to appeal the ruling.
The bank’s lawyer, Mr. Ebuka contended that the plaintiff, in her prayers, sought the court to compel the restoration of her money, damages for her money that was lost, and the expense of legal action, even though the court cannot change a party’s pleadings in a suit.
He stated that the plaintiff did not request compensation for the delayed reversal that the court granted her.
“The judgment was not the true position of the law. It wasn’t the terms of agreement. There was no hearing in that matter. Everything was totally against the rule of practice and the law.
“The plaintiff tried to withdraw money with a Polaris Bank Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card, but she did not go to Polaris Bank. She went to another bank’s POS. Going to another bank POS, that bank debited her account from Polaris bank but did not pay her.
“The law is if you come to Polaris Bank with its bank card it should be reversed immediately or within 24 hours, but when it has to do with a third party bank, you have to file an application before the money is reversed to the owner.
“The law allows for 16 days for the money to be reversed from the day the application was filed.
“The woman was debited on December 24, 2021, but she did not notify the bank until after the Christmas holidays about January 4, 2022. From the day she notified the bank we covered the period and returned her money within the 16 days in line with the law.”