By Babajide Komolafe
The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has reiterated that the Nigerian Judiciary is a critical institution towards achieving its core mandate of depositor protection and its contribution to financial system stability.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive of the NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim stated this at the opening ceremony of the Corporation’s 2015 Sensitization Seminar for Judges of States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Courts in Abuja. Alhaji Ibrahim said that no matter how robust the NDIC’s extant laws, the Corporation needed the legal support from the judiciary to achieve its mandate, adding that the Corporation would continue to seek the cooperation and understanding of the judiciary, given that the Judiciary is constitutionally vested with the powers of interpretation of statutes and laws in the Federation.
The theme of the seminar was, “Challenges to Deposit Insurance Law and Practice in Nigeria”. Represented by the Corporation’s Executive Director Operations, Prince Aghatise Erediauwa at the seminar Ibrahim said that the forum was intended to address the challenges being faced by the Corporation in its bid to successfully discharge its mandate.
Prince Aghatise enumerated some of the major challenges such as the menace of protracted and complex bank liquidation related litigations as well as their attendant consequences, the execution of court judgments against the assets of the Corporation as the liquidator of failed banks and lack of proper understanding of its proper legal status on its role as a Deposit Insurer which is distinct from its status as a bank liquidator.
He urged the participants to critically examine these challenges with a view to proffering a lasting solution in order to empower the Corporation to effectively discharge its mandate. While declaring the seminar open, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, noted that some of the esoteric legal issues bordering on the established rights of creditors, shareholders and depositors of failed financial institutions were genuine matters before the courts.
Hon. Justice Mohammed therefore called for a clear and proper understanding of the concept and operation of bridge banks as well as the execution of assets of failed banks within the context of deposit insurance system (DIS). This, according to him, would facilitate better appreciation of the legal issues by the judiciary and eventually lead to more informed court judgments.
He urged the participants to actively utilize the knowledge gained at the seminar in the course of their duties and also enjoined them to continue to uphold the highest standards of ethics and integrity. About sixty (60) Judges of States and FCT High Courts attended the seminar.