Four bank officials docked over unlawful seizure of debtor’s properties

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Uba Group

Four staff of First City Monument Bank in Osun State have been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Osogbo for allegedly seizing the properties of one of the bank’s debtors unlawfully.

The bank officials, including a pregnant woman, Alamu Damola, 32; Alabi Oluwaseun, 37; Akintunde Sunday, 35; and Elijah Kayode, 32, were accused of storming the house of one of their debtors, Mutiyat Titilope, at Oke-Baale area, Osogbo, and seized her household items.

It was gathered that Titilope approached the Micro Credit Unit of FCMB in Osogbo to borrow an undisclosed amount of money which he failed to liquidate at the end of the repayment period.

The bank officials allegedly confiscated household items, including a deep freezer, a gas cylinder, a power generating set, one fan, a washing machine and a home theatre at the debtor’s Oke-Baale residence in Osogbo.

The police informed the court that the defendants forcefully removed the complainant’s properties without lawful authority, thereby causing breach of peace in the area.

The charge brought against them read that “You, Alabi Oluwaseun, Akintunde Sunday, Elijah Kayode and Alamu Damola, sometimes in February, 2022, at about 9pm at Akede Iyaloja, Oke-Baale area, Osogbo did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit unlawful seizure.

“You did unlawfully seize one deep freezer, one gas cylinder, one Elepaq generator, one standing fan, one washing machine, and one electric home theatre with their receipts all total valued at N480,000 (Four hundred and eighty thousand naira only) belonging to one Titilope Mutiyat.

“You did cause apprehension and breach of peace, entered into the rented apartment of one Titilope Mutiyat and removed her belongings without lawful authority.”
Police prosecutor, Kayode Adeoye, said that the offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 518, 144, 18 and 249(d) of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume II Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.

However, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the allegations preferred against them.

Defence counsel, E. Kayode, claimed that the debtor had earlier signed an agreement which empowered the bank to seize her properties if she defaults. He applied for their bail assuring the court that his clients would present reliable sureties.

Chief Magistrate Olusola Aluko granted the four defendants bail in the sum of N100, 000 and one surety each in like sum. He said that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction and ordered that the prosecutor and an officer of the court should verify their addresses.

The matter was adjourned till November 15 for mention.