Economy

Stanbic IBTC loses judgement to FRC, Appeals

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc has appealed Monday’s judgment by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos over the sanctions imposed on them by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC).

Stanbic IBTC Bank
Stanbic IBTC Bank

The bank filed the suit following the suspension of its chairman, Mr. Atedo Peterside, and three directors by FRC over alleged irregularities in their financial statements for 2013 and 2014.

The judge had dismissed the suit, as well as the one filed by KPMG Professional Services and its partner Ayodele Othihiwa challenging FRC’s ‘regulatory decision’ against them following their role in the financial statements.

Justice Buba delivered judgment dismissing the proceedings issued by Stanbic IBTC Holdings against FRC and National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

He held that the questions raised by Stanbic IBTC regarding FRC were hypothetical and academic.

Justice Buba said Section 7 of the NOTAP Act 1979 expresses important national public policy, namely to avoid the dumping of obsolete and inappropriate technology in Nigeria and to raise revenue for the Federal Government.

According to the judge, an agreement that seeks to circumvent the registration requirement under the NOTAP Act would not be enforced by the courts.

But Stanbic IBTC, dissatisfied with the judgment, has urged the Court of Appeal in Lagos to overturn Justice Buba’s verdict.

The bank said in a statement: “Justice Buba does not appear to have addressed the position where an agreement is submitted for registration and NOTAP fails or refuses to register or where an agreement is for a period of years and NOTAP gives approval to make payment in relation to some (but not all) of the years.

“Given that none of Stanbic IBTC’s agreements that are pending with NOTAP seeks to circumvent NOTAP Act, Stanbic IBTC awaits the written judgment to enable it to understand the decision regarding the meaning and application of Section 7 of the NOTAP Act 1979 and the implications of the decision.

“In the meantime, Stanbic IBTC has exercised its constitutional right of appeal and lodged an appeal at the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal. Stanbic IBTC has been advised by its counsel, Fidelis Oditah (QC, SAN), that it has a sound basis for lodging the appeal.

“Stanbic IBTC is a law abiding corporation and will continue to respect the rule of law and comply with extant Nigerian law. Stanbic IBTC has nothing further to add at this stage.”

Meanwhile, Nigerian Army says arrested Shi’ite leader and wife are alive and safe in their custody and will be allowed to speak with his subjects soon.


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