Court Dismisses Access Bank Application To Join Akingbola’s N50bn Suit Against CBN

Moves by the Access Bank Plc to be joined in a N50 billion suit, filed by Dr. Erastus Akingbola, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, has met a brickwall, as a Lagos Federal High court, has dismissed Access Bank’s application for lacking in merit.

Akingbola had instituted the suit seeking judicial review of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made August 14 2009, which removed him as the Group Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc.

Listed as the first and second respondents in the suit numbered FHC/L/CS/903/2009 are; the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and the CBN.

Specifically, Akingbola is asking the court for the following reliefs: “an order setting aside, vacating, nullifying and quashing the order of the first respondent appointing Mr. Joseph Olushola Ajewole and Mr, Lai Alabi, or any other person howsoever, as Acting Deputy Managing Director and Managing Director, respectively, of Intercontinental Bank Plc;

“An order setting aside, vacating, quashing, and nullifying the Order dated 14/8/2009, made against the Applicant by the first respondent, on behalf of the second respondent, to wit: “removing him as an officer cum Chief Executive of Intercontinental Bank Plc, effective immediately from the date of the Order. And removing him as a director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, effective immediately from the date of the order.

“An order of certiorari quashing the said Order of the first respondent made against him, for not being in good faith, contrary to due process of law, discriminatory, ultra vires, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

“An order of the Court reinstating him to his lawful position as the Group Chief Executive and Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc;

“An order of perpetual Injunction restraining the respondents, their officers, servants, agents, privies, assigns or any other persons deriving their authorities in any way whatsoever from the respondents, from unlawfully interfering, harassing, victimizing or disturbing the applicant, in anyway whatsoever, from the execution of his lawful duties as the Group Chief Executive and a Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, and from stopping in any way, whatsoever, the benefits, privileged or perquisites enuring to the applicant by virtue of his aforesaid office;

“The sum of N50 Billion (Fifty Billion Naira) as exemplary damages against the respondents, jointly and severally.”

However, the CBN Governor and the apex bank in their preliminary objections dates and filed August 25, 2009, asked the court to dismiss the suit or alternatively to strike out the suit.

The respondents also asked the court for an order to set aside leave to commence the action. And an order that leaves to serve by substituted service and service thereby be set aside.

The respondents listed the following grounds for the orders sought for: “that the Court is coram no judice; and if not,

“That the Court should decline to exercise its jurisdiction in th’s matter

“That the applicant lacks locus standi to institute or maintain the action against the 1st respondent; (and if he has standing to sue)

“That the applicant has no cause of action; (and if at al )

“That the applicant has no right of action to maintain the proceedings, and that it will neither be just nor convenient to grant any declaration or injunction in this matter.”

Meanwhile, during the dependency of the suit, Access Bank Plc, filed an application seeking to be joined in the suit as a necessary party.

The application was vehemently opposed by Akingbola’s counsel, who urged the court to discountenance Access Bank’s application and also to dismiss same accordingly.

Justice Olayiwola Ogundare, after perusing all the processes filed by the parties, dismissed Access Bank’s application last Tuesday, for lacking in merit.

Justice Ogundare also held that that Access Bank will be affected by the decision of the court on Akingbola’s suit against the CBN and it’s governor.

Meanwhile, Justice Ogundare, has fixed for May 3, for hearing of Akingbola’s motion on notice and CBN Governor’s application challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

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