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GT Bank to cough out US$3.6m

The Civil Law Court “B” in Monrovia has ordered the Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia Limited (GT Bank) to pay over US$3.6m to Liberian lawyer and businessman Cllr. George Kailondo.

The court’s order came on 20 July 2022 after hearing an action of damages case filed against the commercial Bank by Cllr. Kailondo before Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay.

The judge has held the bank liable and ordered the payment of US$3,250,000 as general damages for all the inconveniences, losses and embarrassment caused Cllr. Kailondo.

It also ordered the payment of US$420,000 plus six percent legal interest per annum calculated from 2015 up to the date of the final judgment on 20 July 2022.

“… It is the determination and Final Judgment of this Court that the claim of the Plaintiff is hereby sustained, and the defense and counterclaim of the Defendant are overruled, denied and dismissed,” judge Gbeisay ruled.

On 28 September 2021, Cllr. Kailondo filed a complaint against GT Bank, praying the Court to hold the bank liable for illegally debiting his accounts for various amounts without any authorization from him.

He alleged that the bank withheld the amounts debited (withdrawn) from his accounts. 

He asked the court to award General Damages in an amount not less than US$2,500,000.00 for the injury and tortuous action carried out by the bank 

against him by illegally debiting his accounts without authorization.

He said the bank’s action destroyed his character and business image through a Non-Compliance letter written on 12 August 2020, to all commercial banks, making him appear as a risk for doing business. 

“Plaintiff also claimed Special Damages in the amount of USS420,000.00 (Four Hundred and Twenty Thousand United States Dollars) representing the balance of the money illegally debited from Plaintiff’s Accounts and being withheld by Defendant,” he added.

According to the court document, the defendant on September 22, 2021, filed its answer containing 51 counts and along with it, also filed a Motion to Dismiss the case.

In its Motion, the bank requested the court to dismiss Kailondo’s entire action because prior to filing this suit, he, as private prosecutor, filed a criminal action against the bank by and through the Republic.

The bank contended that Kailondo had demanded restitution of the amount he alleged was wrongfully debited by the bank.

On 15 October 2021, the court continued, Kailondo filed his reply consisting of eighteen counts to the defense’s answer along with his resistance to the bank’s motion to dismiss.
The Court heard and denied the bank’s motion to dismiss and ruled the case to trial on its merits. 

The Court, in its ruling on the motion, held that the law rely on by the defense was inapplicable because the causes of action, as well as the parties, and the reliefs sought to be granted were not one and the same. 

“One case is criminal (Public wrong) where the Party Plaintiff is the Republic of Liberia and the other case is civil (Private wrong) where the party Plaintiff is Kailondo Petroleum Inc,” the Judge ruled. 

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