by Godwin Akanfe
The Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has asked the Dana Group and Sterling Bank to settle their industrial dispute out of court, giving temporary relief to workers of the company who thought the company might be forced to wind up. Sterling Bank had sued the Dana Group over two non-performing loans that it had given Dana.
Sterling Bank had requested the court to wind up the Dana Group and appoint administrators to sell off its assets in order to recover the loans. However, in its defence, the Dana Group claimed that it had paid
N200 million out of the N2.4 billion in loans and asked that the suit be struck out.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Yinusa, in his remarks, held that the Dana Group did fully establish the fact that it had paid any part of the money. He also pointed out that Dana still had an outstanding debt of
N2.2 billion, and that a payment of N200 million was not enough to have the lawsuit struck out or discharge the order of receivership.
After the ruling, the Judge directed the parties to explore the options of an amicable settlement in the interest of the workers and all parties to the suit. The parties were asked to report the terms of settlement back to the court on 27 October.