High Court prevents sale of Standard Chartered Bank SL

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By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Justice Lornard Taylor, presiding in the Industrial Division of the High Court, has granted an injunction preventing the sale of Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone limited.

The injunction was granted on Friday February 3, after hearing the submissions of both lawyers for the plaintiff applicate and defendant applicant,  stating that Standard Chartered Sierra Leone Bank cannot not be sold until the end of the case in Court or if they wish to sell the Bank they would require the permission of the Court.

In February 2021, two very senior employees of Standard Chartered Bank, Ibrahim Jubairu Bah, Head of Global Banking and Sulaiman Dauda Lumeh Chief Operating Officer who have worked for the Bank for about 17 years and 14 each were dismissed from their employment.

Bah and Lumeh took the case to Court against Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone and its parent company Standard Chartered Plc. in the High Court of Sierra Leone for redress. They however, claimed for breach of contract of employment on the grounds of wrongful dismissal.

They further stated that the dismissal was a breach of duty of care owed to them, discriminatory, subject matter of ill-treatment, damages against their professional and personal reputation, and damages for the Bank conspiring to cause injury to them and both men claimed compensation of $8,384,284.75 and  Bah $5,842,297.

However, at the start of the case, the parent company challenged the Sierra Leone Courts’ authority to hear the case,stating that no employer relation existed between it and Bah and Lumeh.

After over a year of arguments in Court, the parent company agreed to submit to the authority of Sierra Leone Courts refusing also to pay the sum of $ 1,200,000.00 ordered by the Court to pay into accounts to be managed by the parties’ solicitors.

Since Standard Chartered Bank is closing down its business in Sierra Leone and leaving the country as well as several other African countries, Bah and Lumeh’s lawyers went to Court asking the Court for an injunction to halt the sale of the Bank until security is provided to secure their claim.

The case was adjourned to Monday 6th March 2023.

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