Akin Kuponiyi 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, Friday adjourned till 12 May this year to deliver judgment in a suit filed before the court by the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, against Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, and its Executive Secretary.

Sanusi is challenging his invitation to appear before the investigating panel set up by the FRCN.

In the suit filed by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibajo, Dr Kanyinsola Ajayi and Kola Awodehin on behalf of Sanusi against FRCN and its Executive Secretary, the plaintiff is asking for the following reliefs and orders:

A declaration that FRCN by constituting itself into investigating body in the manner contained in newspaper advertorials of 24 March, 2014 acted ultra vires; a declaration that the conduct, action, decision and conclusion in respect of the plaintiff particularly as it manifested in a brief note of 7 June, 2013 sent to the President were ultra vires and contravened the rule of natural justice.

Sanusi also wants the court to declare that the defendants do not have the powers to conduct the purported investigation as advertised in newspapers, an order restraining the defendants and their agents in any form from conducting any investigation, inquiry, hearing or proceedings whatsoever as advertised in newspapers as the defendants do not have the powers to conduct such investigation.

Sanusi is also urging the court to set aside and nullify any report, conclusion and recommendation based on any purported investigation conducted as advertised in newspapers.

In a counter affidavit and preliminary objection filed and argued on behalf of FRCN by Mr Adesegun Ajibola, SAN, the defendants raised an objection that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the suit as the plaintiff has not exhausted the internal mechanism of resolution of grievances before taking this matter before the court.

Therefore, he said, the suit as presently constituted is premature, incompetent, consequently the court lacks jurisdiction to hear it.

In response to the main suit, Mr Ajibola contended that FRCN through its secretary issued a note addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan wherein it expressed its observation on the discrepancies it noticed in the audited financial statement and explanatory note of the CBN.

Consequently, part of its recommendation  was that there was need for thorough investigation of the activities of the CBN.

The investigation panel, other than the decision to invite the plaintiff, has not arrived at any other conclusion in respect of the investigation of the activities of the CBN for the financial year of 2011 and 2012. So the FRCN urged the court to strike out the suit for being misconceived and premature.