Paris Club: Five SANs In 418 Million Dollars Judgment Debt Mess

A Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered that a contempt charge motion against five Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, involved in the 418 million dollars judgment debt suit be served on them through courier services.

Justice Inyang Ekwo issued the order for substituted service following an ex-parte motion filed by Emeka Okoro, counsel for the applicants, who are 15th and 16th respondents in the suit.

Panic Alert Security Systems Limited and Dr George Uboh, two out of the consultants engaged in the 418 million dollars debt in relation to Paris Club Refund, are 15th and 16th respondents respectively.

Okoro had complained, shortly after the matter was called, that the five senior lawyers allegedly evaded being served with the charge despite all efforts made by the bailiff as required by law.

The affected SANs are Sunday Ameh, Jibrin Okutepa, Dr Garba Tetengi, Ahmed Raji and Aare Olumuyiwa Akinboro.

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The applicants had, through their lawyer in the contempt charge, urged the court to commit the five SAN to prison custody for alleged contempt of court in the 418 million dollars judgment debt suit.

They also prayed the court to ensure that the five SANs are reported to the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) of the Body of Benchers.

They described the attitude of the senior lawyers against the March 25 judgment delivered by Justice Ekwo as “infamous conduct unbecoming of a legal practitioner.”

The judge had, on March 25, dismissed the suit filed by the 36 states attorneys-general against the Federal Government and others for lacking in merit.

The judge held that the states’ AG, who were plaintiffs in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1313/2021, lacked the legal right to institute the matter without their governors’ consent.

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But in a motion on notice dated and filed on March 28 before Justice Ekwo, the applicants sought for order restraining the Federal Government from approving the deduction of money accruing to them from the Federation Account for the payment of the judgment debt.

The 36 states’ AGs, who listed 26 grounds why the court should grant their reliefs, said the lower court’s decision had been challenged at the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, in the contempt charge, the senior advocates were alleged to have placed “Caveat Emptor” on the judgment of the Federal High Court.

The court granted permission to President Muhammadu Buhari to deduct the 418 million dollars from the financial allocations of the 36 state governments as payments for debt they incurred during the Paris Club refund contract.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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