Court challenge 36 States Against $418m Paris Club Debt

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Abuja Federal High Court has dismissed the suit filed by the 36 states challenging the decision of the Federal Government to deduct $418million from the funds standing to the credit of the states to pay debts owed consultants engaged in relation to the Paris Club refunds made to states.

In his judgment in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1313/2021 on Friday, Justice Inyang Ekwo, upheld the objection by some of the defendants to the effect that the states’ attorneys general, who filed the suit on behalf of the states lacked the requisite locus standi to file the suit.

The judge noted that since the debt being challenged arose from the actions of the governors, who are members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), the AGs, who are appointees of the governor,s cannot sue to challenge the actions of their appointers.

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The judge also held that the suit amounted to an abuse of court process in that it was intended to seek a review of judgments already given in favour of the consultants.

Justice Ekwo held that his court lacked the powers to review judgments of courts of coordinate jurisdiction.

The judge proceeded to consider the suit on the merit and held that it was without merit and proceeded to dismiss it.

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