March 26, 2014 – Shareholders Sued Sanusi Over Sale Of Intercontinental Bank To Access Bank
Suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, seems in for more trouble as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered him to appear before it in a N10 billion suit filed by some aggrieved shareholders of defunct Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria.
Ruling on an ex-parte application filed by Chris Uche on behalf of one Abdullahi Sani and two others, Justice Abdulramat Mohammed ordered the service of the originating summons on any adult in the office of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the notice board of the bank.
The plaintiffs, in their originating summons, supported by a seven-paragraph affidavit wanted the court to determine whether the suspended CBN governor did not act fraudulently by deliberately strangulating the banking operations of Intercontinental Bank to the detriment of the plaintiffs as shareholders.
Also joined in the suit are Central Bank of Nigeria and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
The plaintiffs, Abdullahi Sani, Adaeze Onwuegbusi and Chijioke Ezeipke, through their counsel, Chris Uche, were demanding N10 billion as special and general damages against Sanusi for the alleged breaches culminating in the wrongful take over of Intercontinental Bank Plc by Access Bank.
They also wanted the court to order CBN to immediately recover N25.1 billion together with accrued interests still being owed by the trio of Aig-Aigboje Imokhuede, Herbert Wigwe and Senator Bukola Saraki.
When the matter came up yesterday, the plaintiffs’ counsel, Uche, prayed the court for leave to serve Sanusi through a substituted means on grounds that his present place of abode after his suspension was not known.
Uche further urged the court to serve the application on Sanusi through his last office address at the CBN and that the application should be pasted on the notice board or be given to an adult in the bank.
In his ruling, the trial judge, Justice A. R. Mohammed, granted the plaintiffs’ prayer and ordered that the court process be served on Sanusi through his last office address at the CBN. He later adjourned till May 14 for hearing.
In their originating summons, the plaintiffs were praying for an order of the court that the take-over of Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank on the scheme, direction and instruction of Sanusi without lawful justification whatsoever was null and void.
The plaintiffs also wanted the court to mandate SEC as the official and apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market acting under her power pursuant to Section 13 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 to conduct detailed public investigation into the circumstances relating to and connected with the sales of the shares, assets and securities of Intercontinental Bank to Access Bank.