The Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State, has dismissed a suit by a legal practitioner, Olumide Babalola, challenging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s policy on current account maintenance fee contained in the Guide to the Charges by Banks and other financial Institutions of January 2020.
Babalola through his law firm, Babalola LP, contended that the policy and guidelines of the CBN violated his fundamental human rights.
The CBN counsel, Adeleke Agbola, of Cheakley Chambers, however, challenged the suit on the ground that the plaintiff lacked the legal capacity to institute the suit on a policy that affects the public.
In his preliminary objection, Agbola contended that the plaintiff failed to show that the CBN acted in bad faith or breached any law by issuing the guidelines.
The trial judge, M Shittu Abubakar, after careful analysis of the case, on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, dismissed the suit in its entirety for lacking in merit and upheld the preliminary objection.
The Court held that guidelines issued by the CBN, authorizing deduction of Current Account maintenance charges was lawful and within the statutory powers of CBN.
The Judge also averred with the the CBN’s counsel argument that the plaintiff has not shown that the CBN breached any known law by issuing the guidelines.
The Trial judge also held that the plaintiff/applicant ought to have negotiated with his bank, Access Bank Plc for a reduction of his charges instead of dragging the CBN to Court.