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NIGERIA: Stakeholder Petitions For The Nullification Of Bank Merger



Herbert Wigwe Managing Director of Access Bank Plc

A former minister of Petroleum, Chief Don Etiebet, has urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to nullify the highly publicized merger between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, a merger that took effect in March 2019.

According to reports from Daily Trust, Chief Etiebet petitioned SEC to dissolve the merger between the two banks pointing out the fact that Access Bank and its Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe and other executive directors have an ongoing corporate offence case before the High Court in Shagamu, Ogun State and the High Court in Ikeja, Lagos.

In the petition dated March 19, 2019, the former minister said his decision to seek for the nullification of the merger was in pursuant to the provision of Section 124 (3) of the Investment and Securities Act 2007 which ‘empowers any person to voluntarily file any document, affidavit, statement or other relevant information in respect of the merger’.

Chief Etiebet based his argument on the provision of Section 127 of the Investment and Securities Act 2007, which states that;

The commission may revoke its own decision to approve or conditionally approve a small, intermediate or large merger if the decision was based on incorrect information for which a party to the merger is responsible and the approval was obtained in deceit.”

Chief Etiebet, who is a shareholder in Access Bank, had petitioned SEC stating his position against the merger; as his company currently have a fraud case against the bank.

The former minister accused Access Bank of hiding the corporate offence court cases filed against them from the regulators such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Insisting that the merger was only approved because the regulators are not aware of the cases against the bank.

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