Appeal Court Confirms FCMB’s Deposit Of N540m Damages

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First City Monument Bank has complied with the Abuja Court of Appeal’s order directing it to deposit the N540m awarded as damages to the General Overseer of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry, Emmanuel Omale, into an interest-yielding account held by the Chief Registrar of the court.

The appellate court in a letter addressed to Omale’s lawyer, Goddy Uche (SAN) confirmed the payment of the awarded money.

The letter dated February 16 and signed by Sherifatu Abdulrazaq-Tayibu, read, “We received your letter dated the 14th February 2024 seeking confirmation from this court as to whether the appellants in this matter have complied with the order of this honourable court.

“I have been directed by the Deputy Chief Registrar to inform you and indeed confirm that the appellants have complied with the order of this honourable court, directing that the sum of N540,500,000.00 only be paid into an interest-yielding account.”

It was reported that during the investigation of a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, by the Justice Isa Salami-led presidential investigation panel, it was alleged that an investigation by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit revealed that Magu paid N573m into Omale’s church’s account with which property was allegedly bought in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Omale, his wife, and the church sued FCMB in a suit marked: FCT/HC/CV2541/2020

However, during his judgment on the matter in October 2022, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the FCT High Court noted that the evidence before his court showed that the bank admitted error in its report to the NFIU of entries in Omale’s church account.

He added that the bank claimed that the purported N573m was wrongly reflected as a credit entry in Omale’s church account by its reporting system.

Justice Halilu, ordered FCMB to pay N540m in damages to Omale and his wife, Deborah.

But dissatisfied with the verdict of the FCT High Court, FCMB, through his lawyer, Wale Olawoyin (SAN), filed a notice of appeal dated October 5, 2022, against the judgment.

But the Court of Appeal in a ruling on February 1, rejected FCMB’s request for a stay of execution of the judgment pending the determination of its appeal as prayed.

A three-member panel led by Justice Muhammed Shuaibu, granted a conditional stay of the execution of the judgment by ordering the bank to pay the judgment sum of N540m into an interest-yielding account of the court’s Chief Registrar.

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