A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Olumide Babalola, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to declare as anti-people the N50 quarterly card maintenance fee recently introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The lawyer, through the suit, is urging the court to nullify the December 20, 2019 circular issued by the CBN to all banks and non-bank commercial institutions for the enforcement of the card maintenance charge.
Babalola contended that the N50 card maintenance charge was in bad faith, against public interest and urged the court to declare it null and void.
He prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the CBN and others from charging the N50 card maintenance fee, saying it was “merely an avenue to generate income for commercial banks at the expense of the public.”
The lawyer said, “I know that the provision at Page 20, Clause 10.4 on the Card Maintenance Fee of the Guides is exploitative, unreasonable, done in bad faith and against public interest.
“I know and believe that the N50 quarterly card maintenance fee is against public interest because the cards are never maintained by the banks as they remain in the customer’s physical custody until they expire or get lost or damaged.
“The banks always charge card replacement fee in the event of damage, loss or expiry of the cards.
“The cards are maintained and kept by respective customers who keep and ensure their safety.
“Once a card malfunctions, the bank charges an additional fee for its replacement and I have never heard of a case of repair of a debit card and the defendant is put to the strictest proof of same.
“I know as a fact that the card maintenance fee is another money-making channel devised by the defendant for the benefit of commercial banks.”