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Lawyer sues CBN over new charges

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Ugochukwu Iwuchukwu

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has fixed November 20, 2019, to entertain a suit filed by a lawyer, Steve Elijah against the new charges introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN on deposits and withdrawals.

Steve Elijah had gone to court to seek an order to stop the implementation of the new cash policy which is expected to be effective from March 2020.

The legal practitioner told our correspondent that the charges also contradicts the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019, which prohibits unfair business practices or abuse of dominant market position by any company.

He said that he is seeking redress at the court for interpretation of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019 which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in February 5th, 2019.

”The purpose, while I filed this suit, is one, to challenge the new CBN policy because it’s illegality, it Federal contravenes the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019 because the law is clearly against fixed charges”.

”Secondly, it’s also against my relationship with my banks. So CBN giving such a directive it interferes with my banker customer relationship with my banks. So it’s against the law”.

”Hopefully, what I am asking the court is an order. I am seeking for an injunction to restrain my banks and the CBN from carrying out the directive. Not only pertaining to me but also for other customers”.

”I know that this is the first time the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act law will be put to test because in Nigeria we usually don’t have a good regime of competition law” he said.

Our correspondent reports that the new CBN policy stipulates that, a 3 percent processing fee will be charged for withdrawals of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts, while 2 percent will be charged for deposits.

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