Section 113-123 BOFIA 2020
Section 113 to 123 of the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020 is part of CHAPTER E [SPECIAL TRIBUNALS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT AND RECOVERY OF ELIGIBLE LOANS] of the Act.
Section 113 BOFIA 2020
Chief Registrar of the Tribunal
(1) The Chief Registrar of the Tribunal shall be appointed by the President of the Tribunal.
(2) The Chief Registrar of the Tribunal shall be a legal practitioner of not less than 10 years post call experience and shall perform such duties in exercise of the powers and authority of the Tribunal as may, from time to time, be assigned to him by the Tribunal, Rules of the Tribunal and, the President of the Tribunal.
(3) The Chief Registrar, or any other officer of the Tribunal so authorised, shall have power to administer oaths and perform such other duties with respect to any proceedings in the Tribunal as may be prescribed by the rules or by any special order of the President of the Tribunal.
Section 114 BOFIA 2020
Other staff of the Tribunal
(1) The President of the Tribunal may appoint such many persons as may be required to be commissioners for taking affidavits and declarations and receiving production of documents or for taking the examination of witnesses on interrogatories or otherwise which may be necessary to be taken in respect of any proceedings in the Tribunal , and any order of the Tribunal for the attendance and examination of witnesses or production of documents before any such commissioner shall be enforced in the same manner as an order to attend and be examined or produce documents before the Tribunal.
(2) The Tribunal shall employ the services of such staff as the Tribunal may deem necessary for the efficient performance of its functions under or pursuant to this Chapter of this Act.
(3) The remuneration (including allowances) and terms and conditions of service of the staff of the Tribunal shall be as may be determined by the Tribunal provided that it is not less than what is obtainable in the Federal High Court.
(4) Any amounts payable under this section shall be charged and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation in accordance with section 81(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
(5) All employees of the Tribunal shall be entitled to pensions and other retirement benefits in line with the Pension Reform Act 2014.
(6) Nothing in this section shall prevent the appointment of a person to any office, on terms which preclude the grant of pension and other retirement benefits
Section 115 BOFIA 2020
Jurisdiction of the Tribunal
(1) The Tribunal shall have and exercise jurisdiction on any causes and matters –
(a) pertaining to enforcement and recovery of eligible loans by financial services banks, specialised banks or other financial institutions;
(b) connected with or pertaining to the enforcement of security or guarantee, or attachment of any assets under an eligible loan made by any bank, specialised bank or other financial institution in Nigeria, to its customers.
(2) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall affect the jurisdiction and all other powers of the Federal High Court, State High Court or the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to continue to hear and determine debt recovery and related financial consumer causes and matters before such court at the date of the commencement of this Act:
Provided that such matters before the courts shall be concluded timeously.
(3) The Tribunal in the exercise of the jurisdiction vested in it by or under this Act shall, in every cause or matter have power to grant, either absolutely or on such terms and conditions as the Tribunal thinks just, all such remedies whatsoever as any of the parties thereto may appear to be entitled in respect of any legal or equitable claim properly brought forward by them in the cause or matter so that, as far as possible, all matters in controversy between the parties may be completely and finally determined and all multiplicity of legal proceedings concerning any of those matters avoided.
(4) For the purpose of exercising its jurisdiction under this Act, the Tribunal shall have power to grant summary judgment on applications filed by a bank, specialised bank or other financial institution where there is an indebtedness that the debtor has acknowledged in writing and such debt remains unpaid after 90 days of the acknowledgement.
(5) The Tribunal shall also exercise jurisdiction on any other matter as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
(6) In the exercise of its jurisdiction under this Act, the Tribunal shall have the power to interpret this Act and any other enactment, rules or regulation as may be applicable
Section 116 BOFIA 2020
Power to stay proceedings
(1) If any party to a loan agreement or security agreement with a financial institution has submitted in such agreement to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, and such person commences an action in any court with respect to any matter which is a subject of the agreement, the court to which such action is commenced may, if satisfied that there is no sufficient reason why the action should not be referred to the Tribunal in accordance with the agreement, make an order staying the proceedings.
(2) The order staying proceedings in subsection (1) of this section shall not be made where the financial institution has filed pleadings or taken any steps in the action other than applying that the court should refer parties to the Tribunal.
Section 117 BOFIA 2020
The Tribunal’s fund
(1) The Tribunal shall establish and maintain a fund, which shall be applied towards the discharge of its functions under this Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Tribunal’s Fund”).
(2) There shall be paid and credited to the Tribunal’s Fund established under subsection (1) of this section-
(a) funds provided to the Tribunal by the Federal Government; and
(b) gifts, grants, donations or endowments or any other moneys that are not inconsistent with its objects under this Chapter of this Act; and
(c) case fees collected for the services rendered by the Tribunal under this Chapter of this Act.
Section 118 BOFIA 2020
The case fees payable by banks, specialised banks or other financial institutions shall be 0.5 per cent of the amount of their claim or such other percentage as the President may determine by rules
Section 119 BOFIA 2020
Power to accept gifts
The Tribunal may accept any grant of money or contributions on such terms and conditions, if any, as may be specified by the person or organization making such grant or contribution provided that the terms and conditions are consistent with the
functions and objectives of the Tribunal.
Section 120 BOFIA 2020
Account and audit
The Tribunal shall keep proper accounts of its receipts, payments, assets, and liabilities and shall submit the accounts annually for auditing and reporting to the Auditor-General of the Federation who shall submit his reports to the National
Assembly; and for that purpose, the Auditor-General or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall have access to all the books, records, returns and other documents relating to those accounts.
Section 121 BOFIA 2020
Application of Tribunal’s Fund
The Tribunal may apply the proceeds of the Tribunal’s Fund established in section 117 of this Act to –
(a) meet the cost of administration of the Tribunal;
(b) reimburse members of the Tribunal and staff or any committee of the Tribunal for expenses authorised;
(c) pay the salaries, remuneration or allowances, pensions and gratuities as applicable to the members of the Tribunal and staff of the Tribunal;
(d) finance staff promotion, training, internships, scholarships, research and similar activities;
(e) maintain any property acquired by or vested in the Tribunal;
(f) meet any capital expenditure approved by the Tribunal; and
(g) implement all or any of the functions of the Tribunal under this Act or any matter connected with those functions.
Section 122 BOFIA 2020
Powers of the Tribunal and President of the Tribunal
(1) The President of the Tribunal shall issue or cause to be issued rules regulating its procedures which shall include provision for the expedited and accelerated hearing and determination of causes and matters before the Tribunal.
(2) The Tribunal shall have, for the purposes of discharging its functions under this Chapter of this Act, power to-
(a) grant an injunction or appoint a liquidator by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Tribunal to be just or convenient so to do.
(b) make such orders as it may deem appropriate for the enforcement of security or guarantee, or attachment of any assets under an eligible loan made by any bank, specialised bank or other financial institution in Nigeria;
(c) make an order of mandamus requiring any act to be done or an order of prohibition prohibiting any proceedings, cause or matter, or an order of certiorari removing any proceedings, for any purpose, notwithstanding that same is against an officer or authority of the Federation
(d) upon an ex parte application to the Tribunal, before or after the filing of the action for debt recovery, grant custody and/or possession of debtor’s movable or immovable property to a financial institution pending the hearing and determination of a debt recovery action, where the financial institution satisfies the Tribunal that the debtor or debtor company is the bona fide owner of such property;
(e) upon an ex parte application to the Tribunal, before or after the filing of the action for debt recovery, grant an order freezing a debtor or debtor company’s account(s) pending the hearing and determination of a debt recovery action, where the financial institution satisfies the Tribunal that the debtor or debtor company is the bona fide owner of such account:
Provided that the order of possession and freezing order referred to in subsection (2)(e) and (2)(f) of this section, shall subsist till judgment or a final determination of the action, unless expressly discharged by the Tribunal;
(f) summon and enforce the attendance of any person and examine him on oath;
(g) require the discovery and production of documents and call for the examination of witness or documents;
(h) promote reconciliation, encourage and facilitate amicable settlement among parties in any proceedings before the Tribunal; and
(i) do anything which in the opinion of the Tribunal is incidental or ancillary to its functions under this Act.
(3) The grant of stay of proceedings, stay of execution or injunction pending appeals, or leave to appeal in favour of any party, shall-
(a) In the case of stay of proceedings and leave to appeal in respect of interlocutory appeals, not be granted under any circumstances and the Tribunal shall as practicable as possible, sit on a day-to-day basis; and
(b) In the case of stay of execution, injunction pending appeal and leave to appeal in respect of final judgment, be conditional upon deposit by the applicant of the judgment sum into an interest yielding account in the name of the registry of the Tribunal.
(4) Any proceeding before the Tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding and the Tribunal shall be deemed to be a civil court for all purposes.
(5) Any federal statute of limitation, statute of limitation of a State or of the Federal Capital Territory or any like statute or rule limiting the time within which an action may be commenced does not apply or operate to bar or invalidate any claim brought before the Tribunal for the recovery of an eligible debt.
Section 123 BOFIA 2020
Panel of Experts
(1) There is established for the Tribunal, a panel of experts who shall provide opinion in cases before the Tribunal as may be required from time to time.
(2) The Bank shall appoint the members of the panel of experts established in subsection (1) of this section:
Provided that no person shall be appointed unless such person possesses a minimum of ten (10) years’ experience in banking and credit or capital market operations.
(3) There shall be a lead expert who shall be so designated by the Bank and shall be responsible for assigning cases that require expert opinion before the Tribunal, to members of the Panel.
(4) The panel of experts shall be independent and impartial in the performance of its functions.
(5) The panel of experts shall be paid such remuneration as may be determined by the Bank.