Benue Govt React to Freezing of State Accounts

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The Benue State Government has said it was not served the motion exparte prior to the set off its accounts over a N333 million loan that was received in 2008.

A Federal High Court in Abuja, which was presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo, had last Wednesday issued an interim order freezing all bank accounts belonging to the Benue State government for its inability to repay the loan.

Justice Ekwo acted based on an ex parte motion brought before the court by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

However, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, who spoke to journalists in Makurdi yesterday over the garnishing of bank accounts belonging to the state, said the state government had not been served.

According to him, “We have not been served with that process. We have not been served with the writ of the originating summons.

“We have sent our lawyers to the court, and since we have not been served with the originating summons and because of the urgency of the matter and the way all government accounts have been placed on lien, we have sent our lawyers to the court to find out what the problem is.

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“That order was made on motion ex parte and it is based on the purported contract that was gone into by the business man and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, and that the state government offered an ISPO by way of directing that the loan will be paid.

“So, like I said, we have not seen the process because we have not been served. So when we get the process, we will also commence proceedings to set aside the orders that were made by the motion ex parte.”

On how soon the matter would be resolved, Gusa said: “All we know is that it was a loan that was obtained in 2008, and you can see that the action is starting now. I don’t want to say anything more than this as I have not seen the writ of summon (the process) myself.

“This got to our notice yesterday (Wednesday) and we are in court already; I don’t want to say anything because the matter is pending in court.

“So when we get our writ of summon, we will also send our processes to the court and get it placated.”

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