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Federal High Court dismisses Femi Falana’s suit challenging sale of Polaris Bank

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Federal High Court Dismisses Femi Falana's Suit Challenging Sale Of Polaris Bank

Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed a lawsuit filed by renowned rights activist Femi Falana (SAN), challenging the alleged sale of Polaris Bank. The dismissal came after Falana filed an application seeking to discontinue the suit.

The suit, filed as FHC/l/CS/87c/23, named the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Polaris Bank Nigeria Ltd. as defendants. Falana had argued that the sale of Polaris Bank for N50 billion, following its earlier revival for N1.3 trillion by the CBN, violated the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020.

Arguing his case before the court, Falana sought a declaration that the purported sale of Polaris Bank on October 19, 2022, was illegal. However, he later decided to withdraw and discontinue the suit, citing the federal government’s decision to take over the bank due to the illegality of the sale.

Augustine Okafor appeared as counsel for the CBN, while Olabisi Makanjuola represented Polaris Bank.

Makanjuola contended that since Falana had initiated the action through an originating summons and opposing arguments had already been presented, he could not simply withdraw the suit without proper procedure. Makanjuola argued that the plaintiff had not sought to file his discontinuance within 14 days of receiving the defense’s counter affidavit.

In his ruling, Justice Allagoa upheld the defense’s argument, stating that the suit cannot be withdrawn based on the circumstances. The case has brought attention to the alleged illegal sale of Polaris Bank and the actions taken by the federal government to address the issue.

Rachel Adams

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