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Parties seek out of court settlement in N25 billion suit

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and First Bank Plc, have opted for out of court settlement in an N25 billion damages suit filed against them by an indigenous company, Biatemp Ventures Ltd over alleged account manipulation.

The company had sued FIRS and First Bank before a Federal High Court, Abuja, demanding N25 billion special and general damages over alleged manipulation of its domiciliary account and illegal withholding of its tax clearance certificate.

Biatemp alleged that First Bank manipulated its domiciliary account with an over-bloated turnover of over 6.8 million dollars (about N2.4 billion) whereas the deposit made to the account within the period was only 22,475 dollar (about N786, 000).

At the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako, counsels to the two defendants informed the court that their clients were interested in settling the matter out of court.

They prayed the court to adjourn the matter to allow parties further explore the out of court settlement already set in motion. Counsel to the plaintiff, Lloyd Ekweremadu confirmed the position and did not oppose the request for adjournment.

Ekweremadu said though the case was set for the hearing of the motion of the 2nd respondent to amend its statement of defence, he would not oppose the request for adjournment of the case. He confirmed that the respondents had approached his client seeking to settle the case out of court.

Justice Nyako expressed delight over the development stressing that the court always encourages parties in disputes to explore alternative resolution options.

The matter was then adjourned to December 2 for the report of settlement.


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