High Court Orders GTBank MD Miriam Olusanya’s Trial for Allegedly Blocking Customer’s Account
Justice A. L. Akintola of the High Court of Oyo State has issued an order for the trial of Miriam Olusanya, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank). This is in relation to the alleged blocking of a customer’s account at the Apata branch in Ibadan, using an order purportedly obtained from a magistrates’ court in Kano State.
The trial will be based on a contempt of court charge, initiated by Musibau Adetunbi (SAN), the lawyer representing the aggrieved customer, Omolara Abosede Ogunkoya.The order, dated September 18, was observed in Abuja on September 19.
Justice Akintola has directed that all court documents concerning the contempt proceedings be served to both the bank’s MD and the Manager of its Apata branch, Ms. Funmi Olutayo.
A section of the order states: “Furthermore, by this order, the applicant herein is hereby allowed to serve Form 48 (notice of consequences of disobedience to order of this honourable court made on the 7th day of September 2023 and Form 49 (notice to show cause why the order of attachment should not be made and other subsequence processes in these contempt proceedings on the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Pic, Miriam Olusanya by substituted means to wit; by pasting the said processes on the wall of, Guaranty Trust Bank Pic, Apata branch/business office, Ibadan Oyo state.
“According to sources, the contempt case arose from the bank’s alleged refusal to comply with the court’s orders, as outlined in a judgment issued on September 7. The judgment directed the bank to promptly lift the restriction placed on Mrs. Ogunkoya’s account, among other directives.
Mrs. Ogunkoya, the bank’s customer, had taken legal action against the bank due to its purportedly unjustified restriction on her account without providing any explanation for their actions.
In her fundamental rights enforcement suit (marked M/696/2023), Mrs. Ogunkoya stated that she had operated her account without any issues until the bank unexpectedly placed a hold on it earlier in the year. Her attempts to seek clarification or a reason for this action were reportedly unsuccessful, leading her to file a lawsuit.In the judgment delivered on September 7, Justice Akintola determined, among other findings, that the bank’s action lacked justification. He noted that the order upon which the bank relied appeared to be dubious.
The judge stated: “It is doubtful if the enrolled order of the Kano Chief Magistrate Court, attached as Exhibit B to the respondent’s (the bank’s) counter affidavit, is a certified true copy of such an order. To the extent that it purports to be a public document, but which is not certified as a true copy of the original, this court cannot take cognizance of same. In the end result, the basis upon which the respondent (GTBank) has placed the lien or embargo on the applicant’s account maintained with the respondent is of doubtful validity, and same cannot be recognized or given any effect to by this court.”