INTERCONTINENTAL BANK DRAG EX CBN GOVERNOR TO COURT
Shareholders of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, yesterday, dragged the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi before a Federal High Court in Abuja, accusing him of complicity in an alleged N50billion fraud.
The plaintiffs, Abdullahi Sani, Adaeze Onwuegbusi and Chijioke Ezeikpe, in the suit filed by their lawyer, Chris Uche SAN, accused Sanusi of conniving with the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, and Mr. Herbert Wigwe, and Senator Bukola Saraki, to sell the bank in a bid to confer corrupt advantage upon themselves.
The CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission were joined as defendants in the suit, which came up before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Tuesday.
Specifically, they are praying the court to, among other things, determine whether Sanusi, “did not act fraudulently in waiving/writing off the sum of N16.2 billion owed by Mr. Aig-Aigboje Imokhuede and Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank and the sum of N8.9 billion owed by Senator Bukola Saraki and other sums so owed, all totalling over N40bn, in a bid to enable the said Access Bank Plc to fraudulently purchase Intercontinental Bank Plc at a ridiculous sum of N50 billion only, even when the quarterly profit of the said bank was more than N50bn and which Bank at the material time was worth more than N1 trillion, to the detriment of the Plaintiffs as shareholders and investors.
Justice Mohammed granted an ex-parte motion in which the plaintiffs sought leave to serve the suit on Sanusi by pasting copies of the originating summons at the headquarters of the CBN.
The court was asked to declare that the takeover of Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank on the instructions of the Sanusi “without any lawful justification whatsoever in a bid to confer corrupt advantage upon himself and his friends/associates/cronies” was illegal, null and void.
In the same vein, the plaintiffs asked the court to order SEC to conduct a detailed public investigation into the circumstances surrounding the acquisition on Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank.
In an affidavit in support of the originating summons, the plaintiffs averred that as of August 2009, Intercontinental Bank had a paid up capital of N230bn and a balance sheet of N1.6bn, 330 branches nationwide, 10 subsidiaries and 12,000 workers.