LIBERIA: Court Fines G.T. Bank Liable To Pay Businessman George Kailondo US$2.5M Damages

Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill has declared for the second time the Guarantee Trust Bank Liberia Limited guilty to Liberian Businessman Cllr. George Kailondo in a Civil proceeding after the bank was found guilty in a criminal proceeding at Criminal Court “C” during the February Term of Court.

Kailondo had sued the bank in a criminal case at Criminal Court “C” to prove that the bank illegally took Money from the account of his Company, Kailondo Petroleum Inc., without his authorization.

Following his feat in the criminal proceeding, Kailondo again instituted a 2.5 Million Dollars civil action of damage for wrong at the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Montserrado, also known as the Civil Law Court.

Following several legal debates, the Civil law Court on Wednesday, July 20, adjudged GT Bank Liberia Limited liable in connection to the action of damage for the wrong lawsuit filed by Cllr. Kailondo on behalf of his Petroleum Company.

In his ruling, Judge Yamie Gbeisay noted that Kailondo’s proved his 2.5 Million United States Dollars action of damages for wrong, by the preponderance of evidence adduced against GT-Bank, as provided by law.

Judge Gbeisay’s ruling maintained, that Kailondo is entitled to important damage in form of specific, and general, as the result of the bank’s action when the Bank Management illegally depleted Kailondo’s accounts without his authorization, knowledge, and consent.

His ruling further said that during the trial, the bank admitted carrying out the said debits between 2025 to 2016 but failed to produce the authorizations issued by Kailondo on the ground that they cannot locate the document.

As a result of the GT-Bank’s illegal action, Judge Gbeisay ordered them to pay Cllr. Geoge Kailondo 400,000 United States Dollars for special damage and over 3-Million United States Dollars for General Damage.

“It is the ruling and final judgment of this court, that Defendant is adjudged liable to the Plaintiff and is hereby ordered to pay to the Plaintiff as Special Damages, the amount of USD$420,000 (Four Hundred and Twenty Thousand United States Dollars) plus six percent legal interest per an um calculated from the year 2015 up and including the date of final judgment in this case,” Judge Gbeisay started.

Additionally, he noted in his ruling: “The Defendant is also adjudged liable to pay Plaintiff ad general damages the amount of US$ 3,250,000 (Three Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) for all the inconveniences, losses and embarrassment caused to Plaintiff by the Defendant in the illegal debits/withdrawal from Plaintiff’s Account and the damaging of Plaintiff’s reputation by the defendant. This court also rules that the Defendant is liable to pay all costs of these proceedings.”

But the Bank’s legal team has taken an exception to Judge Gbeisay’s July 20, ruling, thus announcing an appeal to the Supreme Court and at the same time placing a stay on the Judge’s decision as provided by law.

On September 20, Cllr. Kailondo, the owner of Kailondo Petroleum Incorporated, filed an Action of Damage for a wrong against the GT-Bank for illegally withdrawing monies from his accounts.

GT Bank Liberia Limited has since requested said action to be dismissed on grounds of Lis Pendens, on grounds that before filing this suit, the plaintiff, as a private prosecutor filed a criminal action against Defendant, by and through the Republic for restitution of the amount it alleged, was wrongfully debited by the defendant.

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