An Indian-based manufacturer and exporter, D.S Dave through his Nigerian appointed Attorney ROFRIS Investment and Trust Limited, has renewed his 33 years legal battle against United Bank for Africa PLC over alleged breach of contract.
In an amended statement of claim filed before a Lagos Federal High Court, Nigeria by a Lagos lawyer, Barrister Ade Oyebanji, it was alleged that sometimes in 1983 a customer of United Bank for Africa Kemson Trading Stores ordered for importation of Agricultural machines from D.S Dave
And on December 28, 1983, UBA issued letter of credit in favour of the plaintiff while Kemson Trading Stores paid the bank the sum of £38,000 pounds being the cost of the goods ordered for by Kemson Trading Stores from D.S.Dave
Upon the issuance of letter of credit by UBA in favour of the plaintiff, the plaintiff release the goods to Kemson Trading Stores.
However since the goods were released to Kemson Trading Stores since January 1984, UBA has failed, refused and neglected to remit to the plaintiff the sum of £38,000 pounds under the letter of credit.
The plaintiff made several effort from his India base, and on so many occasions had to travel to Nigeria to recover the money but without result.
Thereafter the plaintiff appointed Rofris Nigeria Limited as his Attorney to help him recover the money
The Attorney contacted the bank who referred the matter to the Debt Management of the Central Bank of Nigeria, after several correspondences and visits to the Debt Management Office (DMO) in Abuja, the Attorney was told that the plaintiff ‘s claim was rejected by reconciliation bank, that is Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), because there was “no importer submission “during the refinancing exercise which was concluded in March, 1988. Whereas it was the duty of the bank to submit all relevant documents relating to the transaction to the CBN and it was as a result of the failure of the bank to do same that the sum due to the plaintiff was not refinanced.
The plaintiff states that there have been several meetings and correspondences between the plaintiff and the bank in the past years to demand for the money due to him but the bank refused to pay the said sum of £38,000 pounds
Consequently, the plaintiff claims against UBA are as follows: An order of the court directing UBA to pay the said sum of 38,000 pounds with interest at the rate of 21 percent from January, 1984 until March, 2004 and thereafter at the same rate until final liquidation. General damages in the sum of N9,500,000.
However, UBA in its statement of defence filed by the law firm of Udo Udoma & Below-Osagie, while denying almost all the averment of the plaintiff, stated that Kemson Trading Stores, the importer deposited the sum of N41,000, 00, which was the Naira equivalent of GBP £38,000, as at December, 1983, but failed during the refinancing exercise to submit to reconciliation bank the requisite import documents to march the identity and claims of the plaintiff, which would have led to the refinancing of the fund and subsequent remittance to the plaintiff as established in the letter of credit.
Consequently, the bank states that the action of the plaintiff is misconceived, frivolous, an exercise of gold digging, vexatious and an abuse of court process of the court and ought to be dismissed with substantial cost.
The presiding judge, M S Hassan has adjourned till June 29, 2016 for continuation of hearing.