FRC vs Stanbic IBTC: Federal High Court Dismisses Proceedings Issued by Stanbic IBTC

Mr Justice  Buba  of  the  Federal  High  Court  delivered  an  oral  judgment  dismissing  the  proceedings  issued  by  Stanbic  IBTC  Holdings  Plc  (Stanbic  IBTC)  against  the  Financial  Reporting  Council  of  Nigeria  (FRC)  and  the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

In his oral judgment, Mr Justice Buba held that the questions raised by Stanbic IBTC regarding FRC were hypothetical and academic and he did not deal with them. Mr Justice  Buba  held  that  section  7  of  the  NOTAP  Act  1979  expresses important national public policy of Nigeria, namely to avoid the  dumping of obsolete and inappropriate technology in Nigeria and to raise revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria. According to Justice Buba, an agreement that seeks to circumvent the registration requirement under the NOTAP Act would not be enforced by the courts.

Justice Buba does not  appear to have  addressed the position  where an  agreement is submitted  for  registration and  NOTAP  fails  or  refuses  to  register  or  where  an  agreement  is  for  a  period  of  years  and  NOTAP  gives  approval  to  make  payment in relation to some (but not all) of the years.

Given that none  of  Stanbic  IBTC’s  agreements  that  are  pending  with  NOTAP  seeks  to  circumvent  NOTAP  Act, Stanbic  IBTC  awaits  the  written  judgment to  enable  it  to  understand  the decision regarding  the  meaning  and application of  section 7 of the NOTAP Act 1979  and the implications of  the  decision. 

In   the  meantime,   Stanbic   IBTC   has   exercised   its  constitutional  right  of  appeal  and  lodged  an  appeal  at  the  Lagos  Division  of  the  Court  of  Appeal.  Stanbic  IBTC  has  been  advised  by  its  Counsel,  Fidelis Oditah QC, SAN, that  it has a sound basis for lodging  the appeal.  Stanbic IBTC is a law abiding corporation and will continue to respect the rule of law and comply with extant Nigerian law.  Stanbic IBTC has nothing further to add at this stage.

Press Release