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Bankers seek special court for financial cases 

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Nigerian bankers are advocating for establishing a specialized commercial court to handle financial-related cases, citing concerns over a backlog of cases and judicial knowledge gaps. 

The rising prevalence of cybercrimes and their impact on the financial sector further underscores the need for a dedicated court to address complex financial disputes.

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria has expressed concerns that the increasing challenges in the financial sector, particularly in the realm of financial technology, could hinder the projected growth of the industry if left unaddressed. 

The CIBN has called for urgent action to address these challenges, including the creation of a specialized court and enhanced judicial capacity.

CIBN President Dr. Ken Opara emphasized the dynamic nature of the financial sector and the need for timely and informed judgments to effectively address financial disputes. 

He noted that the current system of handling commercial cases within existing court structures is inadequate and called for a dedicated commercial court.

Opara also highlighted the growing threat of cybercrimes and the need for robust cybersecurity measures to protect the financial sector. 

We need to speed up cases. That is why we are canvassing for a commercial court. We have seen a lot of improvement, especially division and department in taking care of commercial cases. But we think much more needs to be done by setting up a special court for commercial and financial cases that will be able to take care of our financial matters,” he said.

He emphasized that the erosion of capital due to cybersecurity gaps poses a significant challenge to the sector’s stability.

In response to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s call for banks to increase their capital base to align with the projected $1 trillion economy, CIBN assured that Nigerian banks are well-positioned to meet the new requirements. 

Opara stated that most banks have already taken steps to strengthen their capital positions and will be able to meet the CBN’s benchmark.

The CIBN also raised concerns about the illegal issuance of bankers’ orders by magistrate courts and the unauthorized actions of Economic and Financial Crime Commission officials. Opara stressed that such practices undermine the integrity of the financial system and must be addressed.

Traditionally, the application for a Garnishee specifies the third-party (garnishee) in the custody of the debtor’s assets to be attached. However, the prevalent practice continues to be for the judgment creditor to proceed against all banks (as garnishees) without first verifying the indebtedness of the bank to the judgment debtor,” he said.

 

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