Court Strikes out AMCON’s N8.2bn Suit against Zenith Bank
Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out a suit filed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) against Zenith Bank Plc and two others.
Justice Ekwo struck out the suit on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction as it is already a subject of appeal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
AMCON in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/343/2020, had sued Zenith Bank seeking an order of specific performance in favour of the asset management corporation on the transfer of 278,072,587 units of shares used as collateral for loans granted by Zenith Bank to one of its customers, Rockson Engineering Limited.
In the suit filed by its counsel, J.Y Pam, AMCON further claimed an alternative relief of the sum of N8,233,729,301.07.
However, in a counter affidavit filed by its lawyer, Professor Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, the defendants argued that certain conditions precedent had not been fulfilled by AMCON and that the said shares were indeed collateral for loans that Zenith Bank granted to its customer, Rockson Engineering Limited and which were unpaid.
The defendants also challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter on grounds amongst others, that same was an abuse of court process, given the pendency of two other appeals before the Court of Appeal, on the same subject matter as the instant suit.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Ekwo agreed with the submissions of counsel to the defendants and held that the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter as it amounted to an abuse of court process.
The court accordingly struck out the suit for want of jurisdiction.