By Diko Diky

One of the government owned banks, Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB) has evaded millions of Leones which would have been paid to government as Estate Duty.

This was revealed in the High Court Judgement on the 17th of January 2020 by Justice Jamesina E. L King in the matter between Haja Nancy Sesay and others against Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB) being the Third (3rd) Defendant.

That the bank being fully aware that one of the purposes of declaration of value is for the purposes of payment of estate duty, it is under duty to ensure that it is not complicit and does not condone failure to pay estate duty by making sure that the funds it has for the deceased are specifically stated in the Letters of Administration before disbursing it.

That the RCB had a fiduciary duty to ensure that monies kept on behalf of the deceased intestate are only paid in accordance with the law and practice in the administration of deceased estates.

That the said Letters of Administration not having referred to the funds held at the 3rd Defendant’s bank in the valuation of the estate or anywhere in the document, adding that the RCB ought to have acted with due diligence and care to ensure that it acted within the laws.

That the fact that the Letters of Administration focused on only the land at Peninsular Road, Mile 12/13 (Mambo) which was the property referenced in the document, this should have put the bank on notice to make further enquiries to follow the law.

That the 3rd Defendant (RCB) was misled by the Letters of Administration of 2015 to disburse the funds, adding that the RCB had ample experience in disbursement of funds of deceased intestate and has full knowledge of the requirement of the law as evidenced in the William Johnson Wyse case of 2007 which was a locus classico that the current Chief Justice ruled in favor of the Bank in a similar matter.

That the withdrawal and transfer by the 3rd Defendant of the sum of Le1, 386, 772, 826.81 from Rokel Commercial Bank Account No 02-11012807-01 forming part of the estate of Alhaji Abdulai Sesay to the 1st and 2nd Defendants / Respondents is unlawful.

However, a stay of execution was recently put on the matter by the Appeals Court for further decision.