After seven years of prolonged trial, a businessman in Imo State, Mr Kingsley Unegbu, is begging the Imo State High Court to fast-track his case against First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

Unegbu dragged the First City Monument Bank to court in 2013 after a mistake by the bank on his Mastercard which caused him to lose his business.

The businessman, while speaking with SaharaReporters, said the bank put a wrong picture on his  MasterCard account, which made his foreign business partner pull out of their investments from the company.

He said the court had on countless occasions adjourned the case, adding that three judges had presided over the case. 

Unegbu is demanding the sum of N400m from FCMB as damages from the bank for their “costly mistake”.

Narrating his ordeal with SaharaReporters, he said, “The bank issued me a MasterCard with another person’s image on it. I told the bank and they said they would rectify it, saying I could use it while they correct it and issue me another one.

“The master card picture mismatch was discovered by my business associates in the US and they thereafter stopped transacting business with me and flagged me as a credit card fraudster.

“All my foreign business transactions have been halted as a result of this mistake from FCMB by putting another person's image on my account and I have incurred a loss of over $500,000."

He demanded that the bank pay him N100m as compensation but the bank ignored his request forcing Unegbu to institute a legal proceeding at the Imo State High Court in 2013 seeking relief from the bank.

Unegbu prayed the court to order FCMB to pay the sum of N400m as damages and also compel the bank to write to his business partner, USA FBO and three other associates – Vonage, Amazon.com and Nekrom – informing them that he is not an internet fraudster but a mistake from the bank led to a mismatch of passports.

Narrating what the continuous adjournment of his case by the court had cost him, Unegbu said: “I have been made a completely useless man since I lost my business. I had 30 workers under me but they have all left and my wife has also abandoned me.

“Due to persistent hardship, my children are out of school and selling sachet water in motor parks."

Unegbu urged the Chief Judge of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, to compel the Imo State Chief Judge to direct judges in the state to treat his case with needed urgency.

“The case has been presided over by three judges and they have all been adjourning with no definite progress made in over seven years.

“The earlier it is resolved, the earlier I can resume my business,” Unegbu said.

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