Lawyer alleged First Bank plc of double Standard, breech of Ethics Over request to transfer suit to another judge in industrial court to pervert justice - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER

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Lawyer alleged First Bank plc of double Standard, breech of Ethics Over request to transfer suit to another judge in industrial court to pervert justice

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Counsel to the former Branch Manager of First Bank Plc, Monday Mawah, has reacted to the call by the respondent in a suit no NICN/LA/496/2020, between Mr Sanni Mansir vs First Bank Plc for reassignment of the suit to another judge saying that the reassignment will compromise true justice

Counsel to the claimant Mawah during an interview with newsmen in Abeokuta, submitted that First Bank of Nigeria is exploring a change of judge option to delay the court process after finding out that their case was laid "on a shaking foundation which is set to crumble.

Salient Times report that Counsel to the respondent, Barrister Okechukwu Umemuo, has called on the President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice Benedict Kanyip, to reassign a matter before Justice Rabiu Gwandu, to any other judge of the industrial court. 



The bank accused the judge of making a statement which the First Bank of Nigeria finds threatening to achieving justice in the matter, hence, the plea for a reassignment of the case to another judge. 

It could be recalled that a sacked manager, Mr Sanni Mansir, had dragged the bank before an Industrial Court over allegation that he was unlawfully sacked from the bank, where he was the manager of Dutsinma branch in Katsina state. 

Mansir was sacked in 2020 and since then head to court. 

Reacting to the request for the reassignment of the suit to another judge on allegation of bias, Mawah said the attempt is to delay justice unnecessarily.

"What happened was that the court during the process of considering the matter before it, advised us to consider an amicable settlement but they are not forthcoming. 

" Meanwhile, First Bank based their position on two arguments that; my client was sacked for placing a lien on one Abayomi Olufemi's account without the customer's knowledge and again that, my client refused to give the sum of N36 million naira meant for the same person, Mr. Abayomi (a contractor) to him in full. 

"They said my client gave Mr Abayomi 13 million instead of N36 million. 

" As a result we requested to amend our processes and we brought the same Abayomi to court and there he cleared my client saying my client gave him the whole N36 million in full and that the lien placed on his account was ordered by himself. 

"At that point even a layman on the street already knew that it was a bad case for First Bank of Nigeria. And as a way to delay justice, they are now saying the judge should be changed.

" There is nothing that had happened so far to make either of the parties to draw the inference that my Lord Honourable Justice Rabiu Gwandu could be bias. 

" The only thing I can explain is that, First Bank of Nigeria, as far as I am concerned is not better than an average politician out there, we expected something better from a multinational company like first bank." 

"I am calling on the President of the industrial court, Lagos not to listen to that watery and baseless claims. 

" Since they have not been able to get my Lord to their side, they are now trying to shop for a judge that can do their bidding." 

But, Counsel to the respondent, First Bank Plc, Okechukwu Umemuo in his letter to the President of the Industrial Court, apply for the transfer of suit, accused the judge of bias quoting the judge as saying" I am not one who seeks media attention but I can give a judgement in this case against the bank that will make headlines."

The statement, the defendant found offensive and saw as a pointer that the judgement might not be delivered fairly, hence, called that the case be transferred. 

" In the circumstances My Lord, the defendant is very apprehensive that there is the likelihood of bias if Honourable Justice Gwandu is allowed to determine this suit." 

Also while speaking with Our Correspondent, Umemuo debunked the allegation of trying to pervert justice saying that he had not alleged the Judge of any act of corruption whatsoever, but added that his client is requesting for a transfer on the premise that the judge already have a position even before hearing the defendant's evidences. 

"Because of the state where the matter is now, it will not be right for me to be pre judging a matter we have before the President of the industrial court. 

"Everyone knows the industrial court as a place of high integrity and in all my years of working there, I have never heard any case of bribing to pervert judgement. We requested for transfer, not on the basis of corruption, if it was on the basis of corruption, we would have written the NJC. 

"We only requested for a transfer because the judge have taken a position on the matter before hearing our evidences."

Meanwhile, in a letter dated, 11th March, 2022, First Bank holds that the judgement may be subdued if Justice Gwandu is allowed to determined the matter. 

The claimant is insisting that he has been dismissed on baseless grounds, praying to the court to order his former employers to reabsorb him, not just into his former position but to the next step on the premise that his mates have moved from being a branch Manager(BM) to the position of a Business Development Manager(BDM).  

The claimant also requested the sum of N250 million for damages caused him by First Bank.

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