How to Recover Money Transferred to Wrong Bank Account in Nigeria

Nuelson Penuel Friday, June 21, 2024 Basis

Wrong transfers of cash to incorrect bank accounts or unintended recipients are a common occurrence in Nigeria, especially since the rise of online and mobile banking. Many of these mistaken transfers are irrecoverable due to various factors such as the cost of pursuing recovery compared to the amount involved, as well as a lack of knowledge about the appropriate steps to take. It is important to note that simply instructing one's bank or the recipient's bank will not reverse these errors; only a court order can legally compel a bank to reverse an erroneous transfer of funds. To rectify an incorrect money transfer, the affected party should seek legal advice for guidance on the necessary actions to be taken. Below are key points to consider when attempting to recover money sent mistakenly to the wrong recipient:

1. Report to the Bank:

The first step is to report the erroneous transfer to the recipient's bank in writing, providing all relevant transaction details and any supporting evidence. The bank may place a Post No Debit (PND) on the recipient's account to prevent further withdrawals while investigating the complaint. If the recipient agrees to reverse the transfer, the funds can be returned promptly.

2. Obtain a Court Order for Reversal:

If the recipient is uncooperative or unreachable, the bank may require a court order to reverse the transaction. A legal practitioner can assist in filing an application with the court, supported by evidence of the transaction and a written address.

3. Filing the Case:

The appropriate court to file for reversal depends on the amount involved and the location of the transaction or bank. Different monetary thresholds determine whether the case should be filed at a Magistrates' Court or a High Court.

4. Proof Required for Court Order:

To obtain a court order for the reversal, the applicant must prove the debit of the disputed sum, show that the payment was made in error, provide details of the recipient's account, demonstrate complaint to the bank, and serve court documents on the bank and the recipient.

5. Police Involvement:

Using the police to recover erroneously transferred funds is not recommended, as only a court order can authorize such actions. Police intervention without legal basis may lead to legal complications.

6. Set-Off Rights of the Bank:

If money is mistakenly paid into an account of a customer in debt to the bank, the bank may have the right to set off against the customer's outstanding obligations. However, there are limitations to this right, especially regarding money erroneously transferred to a debtor customer's account.

Wrapping up

By following the proper legal procedures and obtaining a court order, it is possible to recover funds sent in error to unintended recipients in Nigeria.

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