An Awka-based lawyer and Access Bank’s customer, Mr Anthony Agbasiere, has staged a one-man protest against the bank’s refusal to unfreeze his account.
Agbasiere told newsmen on the bank’s premises on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Awka, on Friday that he took the measure because the freezing of his account had caused him and his family untold hardship.
He further said he was pained that the bank would ignore an order of court to unfreeze his account.
He said that an Anambra High Court sitting in Awka on July 19 ordered the bank to unfreeze his account but regretted that the bank declined to do so.
He said his account was frozen on the order of an Abuja Magistrate’s Court in 2020 but that the order was vacated on July 19 by the Anambra High Court.
According to the order made available to newsmen, Justice Chukwudi Okaa said that Agbasiere’s application for the enforcement of his fundamental right in Suit No.A/Misc 96/2021 had merit and succeeds.
Okaa said: “It is hereby declared that the action of the respondent freezing and/or placing a hold on the applicant’s account no: 0086239935 with the respondent is unlawful and a breach of the applicant’s fundamental right.
“The respondent is hereby ordered to defreeze and/or remove forthwith the ‘Post No Debt Order’ placed on the applicant’s account.
“The respondent shall pay N3 million damages to the applicant for contravening his fundamental right without a lawful court order and N100,000 as cost.”
Agabasiere said he was at the bank for over six hours to withdraw money from his account but could not.
He expressed worry over the bank’s refusal to honour his cheque, in spite of the court order.
He said although the bank served him with a Stay of Execution Notice, but said it only contested the payment of damages and cost and not the order to unfreeze his account.
He said: “I want the world to hear about the level of lawlessness in this country.
“How can Access Bank trap my money running into millions for over a year and still refuses to pay after a court has ordered so?”
Responding through its legal representative, the bank said it appealed against the court order and also filed a motion for stay of execution which it served on Agbasiere.
The representative, Mr Chibueze Oguchienti, said, “We appealed against everything in Anambra High Court order, he should be patient, he will get his money if he wins at the appeal.” (NAN)