The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) has appealed the judgement of a Federal High Court, which declared the council incompetent to review the acquisition of the defunct Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank.
In its Notice of Appeal filed by the counsel, Bola Ajibola and Co, the FRC is appealing the entire judgement of the court in Suit No. FHC/L/ CS/485/2014: Aigboje Aig- Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe V. Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.
In its appeal against the judgement 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.
In a press statement at the weekend, FRC spokesman, Mack Ogbamosa, said the FRC also contended that since the respondents did not state anywhere in their Originating Summons that the decision of the appellant they were aggrieved with, which led to the filing of the instant action, was not taken by any directorate of the appellant, the ground relied upon by the lower court as a basis for dismissing the preliminary objection was not factual.
In the Notice of Appeal, the FRC also asserted that it was erroneous for the learned trial 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 ground 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.
Another ground of appeal was the contention that the learned trial judge erred in law when he held that the appellant did not have the vires to investigate the respondents.
The FRC also contended that the learned trial judge erred in law when he equated the use of the words “fraudulent sale” in the Akingbola petition dated March 25, 2014 with the commission of a crime and thereby came to the erroneous conclusion that an administrative panel such as that set up by the appellant had no vires to investigate criminal allegations.
The FRC also contended that since the acquisition of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc by Access Bank Plc breached Sections 11 (a), (b) & (c) of the FRC Act, the appellant had the powers to investigate the said acquisition.