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Court quashes libel suit against Springbank, Thisday

BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
LAGOS — Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie of an Ikeja High Court has struck out a libel suit against Springbank Plc and the Publisher of Thisday newspapers by an investment company, Strand Capital Partners Limited on ground of  incompetence.

In her ruling, the trial judge, upheld defendants’ preliminary objection and held that the suit was defective, because the originating processes failed legal test since it was not in agreement with  provisions of  Order 6 Rule 2(3) of the Lagos High Court (Civil procedure) Rules 2004.

The judge held, “It is not enough for the owner of the signature to swear to a subsequent affidavit claiming that he was the one that signed the process for and on behalf of the legal practitioner. His name, in my opinion, should have been endorsed under his signature, the failure of which is fundamentally defective to the process. I do not consider a signature by an unnamed person for and on behalf of the plaintiff’s counsel, a mere irregularity, but hold it to be a fundamental requirement of the law.”

Strand Capital Partners Limited and National Sports Lottery Plc (now known as Secured Electronic Technology Plc) had last year, alleged that the bank and some of its officers stole N5.2 billion of their money.

In response to the said allegation, Spring Bank Plc, in an advertorial, which appeared in ThisDay and entitled “How NSL/Strand Capital, companies belonging to the Kola Daisi family planned to defraud Spring Bank Plc of N5.2billion,” provided a compelling response to it.

Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, Strand Capital has since instituted a fresh action on the same issue.


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