SPRING BANK PLC v. DR. IKEM NKAGINIEME & ANOR
In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
On Tuesday, the 21st day of May, 2019
RAPHAEL CHIKWE AGBO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
IBRAHIM ALI ANDENYANGTSO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
SPRING BANK PLC Appellant(s)
DR. IKEM NKAGINIEME & ANOR Respondent(s)
RAPHAEL CHIKWE AGBO, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The 1st and 2nd Respondents in their brief filed on 29-11-17 gave notice of preliminary objection challenging the competence of the appeal. The objection was founded on three grounds (a) the appellant was not a party to the application which dismissal necessitated this appeal (b) prior to the filing of this appeal the appellant had been taken over by a bridge bank; Enterprises Bank Ltd (C) Prior to the filing of this appeal the appellant has been liquidated by the Order of the Federal High Court. Earlier on 17-10-17 the 1st and 2nd Respondents had filed a motion on notice praying the Court to strike out the appeal for want of jurisdiction and exhibited in the affidavit in support a copy of the order of the Federal High Court issued at Lagos on 6th July, 2012 winding up the appellant. The appellant in reaction to the notice of preliminary objection filed the appellant?s reply brief on 26-2-18 and regularized the same date. The objection was argued on 20-2-19. The competence of the objection is therefore unassailable and was properly brought pursuant to the provisions of
Order 10 Rule 1 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2016.
There is ample evidence before the Court that the banking licence of the appellant was revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria. By S.40 of the Nigeria deposit Insurance Corporation Act 2006 whenever the licence of an insured institution is revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation shall act as liquidator of such institution and shall proceed on the publication in the gazette of the revocation of the licence to apply to the Federal High Court for a winding up order. On the application to the Federal High Court for winding up, the liquidator by S.425 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act takes over the power to bring or defend any action or other legal proceeding in the name and on behalf of the institution being wound up. Upon the order of the Federal High Court winding up the institution it ceases to exist.
By 4-7-2013 when the appellant filed its notice of appeal it had lost the capacity on its own to take out a legal process having not only lost its banking licence but had been wind up on 6th July, 2012.
?By Order 15(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules, it
was the bounden duty of counsel to inform the Registrar of this Court of the demise of his client. This duty the appellant?s counsel failed to perform in the instant case. The Respondent?s counsel was therefore right to inform the Court of the demise of the appellant by whatever method he chose. The method cannot be questioned by the appellant. A non-juristic person does not have the capacity on its own to maintain an action in Court. The appellant?s notice of appeal filed by a non-juristic person cannot and has not activated the jurisdiction of this Court. See Madukolu Vs. Nkemdilim (1963) 2 NSCC 374.
This appeal is struck out for want of competence. Having struck out the appeal at this point, it is unnecessary to go into its merits.
AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE, J.C.A.: I agree
IBRAHIM ALI ANDENYANGTSO, J.C.A.: I agree
Mrs. Esther NwosuFor Appellant(s)
Chris U. Ihemtuge with him, P. O. AlebaraFor Respondent(s)
Mrs. Esther NwosuFor Appellant
Chris U. Ihemtuge with him, P. O. AlebaraFor Respondent