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CBN, Suspended Governor Sanusi Want Intercontinental Bank Shareholders' Suit Quashed

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‎BEVERLY HILLS, CA, May 14, (THEWILL) â€' A Federal High Court has been asked to quash the suit filed against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the suspended governor of the bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by some shareholders of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc.

The CBN and its suspended governor, Sanusi, in separate preliminary objections, asked the court to dismiss the suit, saying the suit was statute barred having been filed outside the time limit allowed for challenging acts of public officers.

The CBN and Sanusi also maintained that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit due to the provisions of section 53(1) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act and section 52(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.

They are also praying the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that the fraud alleged to have been perpetrated in the sale of the bank was not supported with the particulars.‎

Three shareholders of the defunct bank: Abdullahi Sani, Adaeze Onwuegbusi and Chijioke Ezeipke, instituted the suit through their lawyers, Chief Chris Uche (SAN).

They are demanding the sum of N10 billion as special and general damages against Sanusi and the CBN for alleged breaches culminating in the wrongful take over of Intercontinental Bank Plc by Access Bank. Join in the suit as the third defendant is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The shareholders also want the court to order CBN to immediately recover the sum of N25.1 billion together with interest still being owed by the trio of Mr. Aig-Aigboje Imokhuede, Mr. Herbert Wigwe and Senator Bukola Saraki.

However, CBN and Sanusi want the court to dismiss the suit, saying they complied with all the extant laws governing the take-over of the bank.

Supporting their prayer with an affidavit deposed to by one Francess Monago, a counsel in the chambers of Kola Awodein, SAN, the defendants said while exercising their statutory duty, they examined the books of Intercontinental Bank and found that the bank was in a serious financial situation caused by capital inadequacy, grossly poor liquidity ratio and corporate governance problems.

According to the affidavit ,'In order to salvage the bank and protect the interests of the bank's depositors and creditors, the 1st Defendant (Sanusi) made an executive order removing the then Managing Director and the Executive Director of the bank and appointed new managing director and executive directors to oversee the affairs of the bank.'

And when the matter came up for hearing at the court on Wednesday, counsel to the plaintiffs, Chris Uche (SAN), said he was served with copies of the notices of preliminary objection filed by Sanusi and CBN earlier before the court sat.

He also acknowledged service of ‎applications for joinder filed by some individuals seeking to be made parties in the suit.

He therefore requested for time to enable him respond to‎ the pending applications and the defendants did not object to it.

The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, therefore adjourned to July 16 for mention and possibly hearing of the suit.