GTB appeals against N5.2b judgement, seeks stay of execution
DISSATISFIED with the ruling of Justice Valentine Ashi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Monday, May 18, 2015, ordering it to pay the sum of N5,240,516,186.21 to an Abuja based lawyer, Dr Ted Isegholi Edwards, Guarantee Trust Bank (GT Bank) has appealed against the judgment.
In the notice of appeal filed before the Abuja division of the Appeal Court , the bank through its counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe SAN is seeking an order of court allowing the appeal and setting aside the judgement of the lower court made on Monday May 18, 2015.
The bank is also seeking an order remitting the matter suit N0 FCT /HC/CV/939/15 to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory for transfer to another judge of the FCT, Abuja for retrial. Apart from the notice of appeal, the bank is also asking for an order of the Appellate court staying execution of the judgement of the lower court delivered on Monday May 18, pending the determination of its appeal filed at the Court of Appeal against judgment of the lower court.
In the appeal filed on Monday, a copy of which was made available to The Guardian yesterday, the bank submitted that the trial judge erred when he held that he has jurisdiction to determine the suit filed by the first respondent ( Dr Edwards).
According to the bank, the first respondent has no locus standi to institute the suit as constituted and has not disclosed a reasonable course of action against the appellate (GT Bank) The appellate also argued that the lack of locus standi and/or reasonable course of action on the part of Dr Edwards robbed the trial court the jurisdiction to entertain the suit and therefore all proceeding conducted without jurisdiction is a nullity.
The bank stated further that the judge erred when he held that the appellate (GT Bank) has not disclosed a prima facie defence to the first respondent’s suit.
According to the bank Order 21, Rule 3 of the Federal Capital Territory High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2004 stated that where the defendant discloses a defence on the merit to a suit filed under undefended list Procedure, leave should be granted to the defendant to file its defence..
The appellate’s notice of intention to defend, the bank argued discloses a defence on the merit to the first defendant’s suit.
It therefore stressed that the court failed to properly evaluate the affidavit evidence placed before it before reaching the conclusion that the appellate’s notice of intention to defend discloses no defence on the merit of the first respondent’s suit. No date has been fixed for the hearing of the applications.
Justice Ashi, it will be recalled has in a judgement delivered on Monday May 18, 2015 in a suit filed by Dr Ted Isegholi Edwards against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Jonah Otunla, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ambassador Bashir Yaguda, Minister of State for Finance, GT Bank, Anaocha Local council in Anambra State and Incorporated Trustees of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) ordered GT Bank to pay the plaintiff, Dr Edwards the sum of N5,240,516,186.21, for debiting the Plaintiff’s account without his consent.
The judge who struck out all the other defendants apart from GTB bank for lack of jurisdiction ordered the bank to pay 21% interest per annum on the judgment sum of at the prevailing interest rate whichever is higher calculated from 12th December, 2014 up till date of judgment as well as post judgment interest of 10% from date of judgment until the judgment sum is liquidated.