The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja has ordered FCMB to pay N540,500,000.00 in damages to Pastor Emmanuel Omale of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry and his wife, Deborah, over the false claim that he laundered N573 million for the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu.
In his landmark judgment on Tuesday, Justice Yusuf Halilu, held that FCMB recklessly breached the duty of care it owed to the claimants – Omale, his wife, and their church.
The judgment was on the suit marked: FCT/HC/CV2541/2020 filed by Omale, his wife, and the church.
During the investigation of Magu by the Justice Isa Salami-led presidential investigation panel, it was claimed that an investigation by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) revealed that Magu paid N573m into Omale’s church’s account with which a property was allegedly bought in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
But in his verdict on Tuesday, Justice Halilu noted that the evidence before his court showed that the bank admitted error in its report to the NFIU, of entries in Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry’s account.
The judge further held that the bank claimed that the purported N573m was wrongly reflected as a credit entry in Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry’s account by its reporting system, which it recently upgraded.
Justice Halilu noted that the bank admitted the error, which occasioned incalculable damage to the reputation of Pastor Omale, his wife, and their church both within and outside the country.
The judge further held that the claimants provided sufficient evidence to establish a case of negligence against the bank.
Justice Halilu thereafter proceeded to award N200m as aggravated damages; N140,500,000 as specific damages and N200m as general damages.