Lawyers urge court to nullify CBN’s approval of Titian Trust Bank acquisition of Union Bank

Posted by News Express | 12 July 2022 | 869 times

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A team of lawyers led by Mr A.M Makinde (SAN) for Dr. Charles Mekwunye (SAN), has filed a motion before a Federal High Court in Lagos seeking an order nullifying the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approval of the acquisition of Union Bank by Titan Trust Bank.

Dr Mekwunye had earlier dragged Union Global Partners Ltd (1st defendant) and Atlas Mara Limited (2nd defendant ) to the court over the sales of their majority shares in Union Bank (4th defendant)  to Titan Trust Bank (3rd defendant).

The senior lawyer in the suit, Dr. Mekwunye, who is also a shareholder in Union Bank, had contended that the sales of Union Bank to Titan Trust Bank by Union Global Partners and Atlas Mara Ltd did not follow extant laws of Nigeria regulating such transaction.

He also contended that Titan Trust Bank which was granted banking license two years ago with two branches has not broken even and does not have the financial capacity to acquire Union Bank.

The court processes files for Dr. Mekwunye stated that the sales of the combined shares of Union Global Partners and Atlas Mara Ltd, in Union Bank was done by private treaty instead of being traded on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange as require by law thereby making the transaction invalid and unlawful.

The CBN was joined in the suit number FHC/L/CS/674/2022 as co-defendant and also serviced with the court processes and interluctory injunction seeking stay of all actions on the transaction pending the determination of the suit.

While the suit was still pending before the court, the CBN last month announced the official approval of Union Bank sales to Titan Trust Bank.

In a motion filed last month, Dr Mekwunye is now seeking a declaration by the court that the CBN’s approval of the transaction is in  flagrant disrespect to the authority, sanctity, dignity and powers of the Court and therefore unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.

Dr Mekwunye’s motion was brought pursuant to Order 35 Rules 1 & 2 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019 and section  36 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

Other reliefs which Dr Mekwunye, SAN, is asking the court to grant includes “an order of Mandatory Injunction for a return to status quo by setting aside the approval of the Sale and Transfer of shares of the 4th Defendant by the 1st  and 2nd  Defendant to the 3rd  Defendant by the 5th Defendant having been unlawfully approved in contempt of Court.”

“An order of Mandatory Injunction nullifying all steps and/or measures taken by the defendants to consummate the transaction of transfer and sale and/or acquisition of shares of Union Bank by the 3rd Defendant in flagrant disrespect to the court.

“An Order of Mandatory Injunction returning the parties to the status quo as at the first date CBN  appeared in court through its Counsel in response to the Originating Summons of May 24, 2022.

“An order that the CBN is in contempt of Court for approving the unlawful transaction resulting in the 3rd Defendant’s acquisition of the 4th Defendant/Respondent as evidenced by the 4th Defendant’s circular of June 2, 2022, inspite of the suit pending before the Court, including the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory injunction filed on May 11,/2022 which is pending before this Court.”

“An order that the Defendants’ failure and/or refusal to maintain “status quo” in the pending suit before the Court undermines the powers and authority of the Court.”  (Daily Independent)

Source: News Express

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