A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted leave for the commencement of committal proceedings against Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for supervising the final handing over of Enterprise Bank to Heritage Bank.
Other principal officers of the apex bank named in the committal proceedings before Justice Okon Abang are Sarah Alade, Alhaji Sulaimon Barau, Adebayo Adelabu, Augustin Anthony, Alhaji Musa Kafarati And Mr Lawson.
The CBN had last week supervised the final handing over of Enterprise Bank to Heritage Bank and Mainstreet Bank to Skye Bank respectively.
But the development was said to have contravened the subsisting order of court made on July 9, 2014 directing parties to the sale deal to maintain status quo.
Irked by the final handing over of Enterprise Bank to Heritage Bank, the plaintiff in the said suit that brought about the order, Upping Ham W/A Limited, had rushed back to court alleging disobedience of the order by the CBN.
The plaintiff, being a member of Spring Bank, the previous bank that metamorphosed into Enterprise Bank owing to the banking reforms embarked upon by the CBN under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (now Emir of Kano), had initially filed the suit to protect its interest in the bank against any sale to a third party.
The court had then ordered parties to maintain status quo ante bellom, meaning that no further action should be taken until the final determination of the suit.
But after the final handing over of Enterprise Bank to the new owner last week, the plaintiff rushed back to court with both forms 48 and 49, the legal processes involved in committal proceedings over alleged flouting of court order.
Justice Abang had specifically granted leave to the plaintiff to commence committal proceedings against the said principal officers of the CBN.
Justice Abang held in his ruling that only natural being could be charged for committal proceedings, thereby the CBN, being an artificial being, comprises of natural being that are its principal officers.
The judge added that the said principal officers as mentioned above “shall be served personally with forms 48 and 49.
The matter was also adjourned to February 10, 2015 for hearing.