Polaris Bank: Court Dismisses Falana’s Suit Against CBN

Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Lagos   has dismissed a suit filed by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) challenging the sale of Polaris Bank for N50 billion after revitalising it with N1.3 trillion.

Allagoa threw out the case after Falana applied to discontinue it on the ground that Polaris Bank had been taken over by the government.

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The senior lawyer had filed the suit marked FHC/l/CS/87c/23 against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Polaris Bank Nigeria Ltd.

He  asked the court to determine whether by the provisions of section 42(2) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020, and Public Procurement Act, 2007, the CBN could validly sell Polaris bank for N50 billion having earlier revitalised the same for N1.3 trillion.

Falana urged the court for a declaration that the purported sale of Polaris Bank by CBN on October 19, 2022, is illegal and violates the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

The plaintiff had also argued that the purported sale also violates the provisions of the Banks and Other Related Institutions Act 2020.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Wednesday, Falana informed the court that he sought to withdraw and discontinue the suit following a takeover of Polaris Bank by the federal government.

He stated that since the federal government had found that the sale of Polaris Bank was illegal and decided to take over the bank, his suit has been taken over by event.

The lawyer then sought to withdraw the suit on those grounds.

But the defence lawyer, Augustine Okafor submitted that since the plaintiff had commenced the action by originating summons for which parties had joined issues, he cannot seek to withdraw the same.


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