Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday adjourned an application, filed by members of the Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria, seeking to commit the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Jim Obazee to prison for contempt of court, till November 20.
Justice Abang was forced to adjourn the case due to a plea by the counsel to Obazee, Emmanuel Akpupo urging the court for more time to file his response to the application.
The shareholders want the FRCN boss jailed for implementing the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria- Guidelines/Regulations for Inspection and Monitoring of Reporting entities, published as Notice 94 in the official gazette of government dated October 6, 2014 (FRC Regulations) despite being aware of a suit pending before the court challenging the financial regulations which formed the basis on which Stanbic IBTC Bank and its directors were sanctioned.
The suit, which was filed by 10 members of the Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria led by the chairman, Chief Timothy Adesiyan is also challenging the implementation of the FRC Regulations, despite the fact that there is a suit before the court, since February 27, 2015, challenging the FRC regulations.
It would be recalled that the FRCN had sanctioned Stanbic IBTC Holdings in relation to the company’s financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2013, and 2014.
Through a letter that was signed by Obazee, the FRC sanctioned Stanbic IBTC over its audited accounts for 2013 and 2014 and suspended the Financial Reporting Numbers of the bank’s chairman, Mr. Atedo Peterside, and its chief executive, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, and also barred them forthwith from vouching for the integrity of any financial statements in Nigeria.
The FRC also suspended two other directors – Mr. Arthur Oginga and Dr. Daru Owei – for attesting to what it termed the “misleading” 2013 and 2014 financial accounts of Stanbic IBTC.