Law News
FRC Appeals Judgment on Acquisition of Intercontinental Bank

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) on Sunday disclosed that it had appealed the judgment of a Federal High Court which declared it incompetent to review the acquisition of the defunct Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank.

A statement by the FRC spokesman, Mack Ogbamosa, revealed that in its notice of appeal filed by its counsel, Bola Ajibola and Co, the FRC appealed against the entire judgment of the court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/485/2014: Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe versus FRC.

In its appeal against the judgment of the court presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris, the FRC held that the judge erred in law when he dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the council challenging the jurisdiction of the lower court to entertain the case pursuant to relevant provisions of the FRC Act.

The FRC also contended that since the respondents’ did not state anywhere in their originating summons that the decision of the appellant who they were aggrieved with and which led to the filing of the instant action was not taken by any directorate of the appellant, the grounds relied upon by the lower court as a basis for dismissing the preliminary objection were not factual.

In the notice of appeal, “the FRC also asserted that it was erroneous for the judge to rely on the statement contained only in the respondents’ written address in opposition to the preliminary objection – that the decision that led to the filing of the instant action was not made by any of the appellant’s directorates- in arriving at the conclusion that the decision of the appellant that led to the filing of the instant suit was not made by any of its directorates.”

It further claimed in its appeal that “the principle of presumption of regularity laid down by section 168 of the Evidence Act was not observed.”

The FRC also challenged the judgment on the grounds that the judge erred in law when he held that exhibit AA6B was admissible in law and further erred by placing reliance on the erroneously admitted document in awarding judgment in favour of the respondents.

The court had ruled that by a combined reading of the functions and objects of the FRC as contained in the FRC Act, 2011, the council had no powers to investigate  mergers and acquisitions and other business combinations.

It also declared that: “The power to conduct such investigations is donated to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursuant to their respective enabling Acts and not the FRC.

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