The court has held that failure of a bank to pay a customer through the Automated Teller Machine, popularly known as ATM when the customer has enough money in the account, is a breach of duty of care and contract. The customer is s entitled to damages.

The Court of Appeal in the case of MOSES JWAN v. ECOBANK (2021) 10 NWLR (Pt. 1785) 449 at 485 per Aliyu JCA held,

“The ATM card issued by a bank being akin to a cheque, must be honoured on request once there is enough funds in the customer’s account, and failure to do that means the bank is in breach of duty of care owed to it’s customer”

The Court of Appeal granted the sum of N500,000.00 general damages for failure of the ECOBANK to pay it’s customer through its ATM the sum of N10,000.00.

No doubt, banks customers have been subjected to many forms of frustrations even when they have enough money in their bank accounts.

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Pundits note that the decision of the Court of Appeal is a sweet smelling relief for all bank customers using the ATM. We do hope that the banks in Nigeria will smoothen their operations and render functional, reliable and effective service to it’s numerous customers to avoid paying heavy damages to customers who would take advantage of the decision of the Court to pursue their legitimate rights.

©Ekom Nwoko
Head of Research and Administration of Nwoko & Co Law office, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.