Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has warned Skye Bank Plc against unnecessary delays in the hearing of its appeal challenging the ruling of Justice Muhammed Yinusa of the Federal High Court, which ordered the bank to pay N5 million to a businessman, Jyde Adelakun.
Justice Yinusa had in a fundamental human right suit filed by Adelakun alongside his company, Touch of Fame, TOF, Energy, ordered Skye Bank to pay the applicants the sum of N5 million as damages for causing his unlawful arrest and detention, and for denying him access to his funds in the bank’s custody.
Adelakun had sued Skye Bank Plc, Bukola Soyinka, Bola Dawodu and Mojeed Olatunji over a petition written by the bank to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleging the source of the funds kept in the bank was fraudulent.
Acting on the petition, the EFCC arrested and detained him and also froze his domiciliary and naira accounts with the bank.
But Justice Yinusa in his judgement declared as unlawful the written petition and statement made by the respondents (Skye Bank and others) dated June 24, 2015, and July 1, 2015, respectively.
The court also held that the petition contained false allegations that the bank received an electronic email correspondence from JP Morgan Chase Bank that the source of the funds of the applicants was fraudulent.
Justice Yinusa also declared that the freezing and blocking of the domiciliary Standard Corporate Current Account No 1771453359 and Naira Standard Corporate Account No 1771335693 of the applicants with Skye Bank from June 24, 2015, and July 28, 2015, without any form of order emanating from court as unlawful and null and void.
Not satisfied, Skye Bank appealed against the judgement and urged the appellate court to set same aside.
When the matter came up on Tuesday, Justice Shagbaor Ikyegh (presiding) warned the bank not to needlessly delay hearing on the appeal.
Justice Ikyegh stated that being a fundamental human right suit, the appeal ought to be heard expeditiously.
Earlier, counsel to Skye Bank, Hassan Salami informed the court of a pending application seeking to amend and regularise processes filed by the appellants.
But lawyer to the respondent, Mr S. T. Amalagobe told the court that he had just been served in court with the processes.
He stated that the court had on February 24 ordered the appellants to file all necessary applications and regularise their processes within seven days but they failed to comply.
Consequently, he urged the court to refuse the application, adding that it was a deliberate attempt to further delay hearing of the appeal.
However, in his ruling, Justice Ikyegh warned the bank to desist from delaying hearing on the appeal.
The court also ordered the bank to pay a fine of N20, 000 to the respondent.
At the lower court, Adelakun had urged the court to declare as unlawful a petition and statement made by the respondents dated June 24, 2015, and July 1, 2015, which he said contained false allegation that he received an electronic email correspondence from JP Morgan Chase Bank that the source of the funds was fraudulent.
He stated that the petition sent to the EFCC led to violation of his fundamental rights to liberty, dignity and right to fair hearing as enshrined in the constitution.
The matter has been adjourned till May 2 for hearing.

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