Loan Sharks Have No Right To Criminalise Defaulters – Lawyer

An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has said that loan sharks have no right under the law to criminalise defaulting clients.
The lawyer, in a statement, said he will start to “institute action in court and defend any individual who feels defamed by any loan company posting their pictures or calling or holding them out in public as criminals”.
“We need to immediately put a stop to this nonsense all over the place. The fact that you took a loan and you are unable to pay timeously does not give any individual or company the right to criminalise you with their messages in public. Even Nigeria and the Government have debts everywhere.
“Also, calling or sending messages to me despite the fact that I am not privy or was not involved in your transaction is disturbing and offensive. Any other loan agency that calls or send unwanted messages to my phone from today will have to pay a lawyer to defend themselves in court,” the statement read in part.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that many microloan companies have developed highhanded techniques to recover their loans including declaring defaulters dead, as well as designing and circulating the obituaries of such persons to family and friends.
The President, Money Lenders Association, Gbemi Adelekan, had urged Nigerians who are seeking to borrow money from online lending platforms and other lending firms should ensure that they do their due diligence before applying for loans.


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