Firstbank reacts as court officials shut Abuja branch

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Leading financial services institution, Firstbank, on Friday debunked reports that it’s Abuja headquarters was shut by officials of the FCT High Court Enforcement Unit on Thursday.

In a statement titled: ‘FirstBank Branch, Head office, not Sealed,’ it said: “Our attention has been drawn to the news reports online with the conflicting claims that FirstBank branch or/head office has been sealed.

Please be informed that the referenced story is a misrepresentation of the facts and misleading. Neither our branch nor head office was sealed. On the 4th of August, 2022, there was an unlawful enforcement at the Bank’s Coomassie House Branch of a garnishee order issued by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which order the Bank is still challenging in court.

While the Bank has taken appropriate legal steps to deal with the situation, we wish to reassure our customers of unhindered banking services and unique customer experience in all our branches and through our numerous alternative channels.”

Reports had it that its Coomasie House branch located in the Central Business District, Abuja, was on Thursday, shut by the FCT High Court Enforcement Unit over alleged failure to comply with a garnishee order.

A garnishee order is one of the options open to a judgment creditor to enforce a judgment that has been made in his favour.

It is a common way of enforcing a judgment debt and is solely used to enforce monetary judgments against a debtor to recover money.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that officials of the FCT High Court Enforcement Unit stormed the bank (Coomasie) with towing vans and cranes and towed some of its valuables.

Items carted away included stand-by generators, Hilux vans, and air conditioners among other valuables.

 

An official of the court, who spoke to NAN on grounds of anonymity said, “it is a long story, but it is all about a garnishee order against the bank which it didn’t comply with’’.

Efforts to get the head of the unit and the bank`s officials to speak on the development proved abortive.

Some staff of the bank while reacting to the development, described it as embarrassing, saying it could have been handled differently.

NAN also made efforts to get the bank’s headquarters in Lagos to react to the development, but to no avail as calls and text messages put across to the cell phone of an official in the Communications Unit of the bank were not responded to.

Most of the bank`s customers were seen in groups hanging outside the bank’s premises.

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