Friday, December 2, 2022

Court Dismisses 36 States Attorneys General Suit Challenging FG’s $418m Deductions

The Federal High Court Abuja presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo has dismissed a suit by Attorneys General of the 36 States Governments against the Federal Government.

the Attorneys General of the 36 States governments had challenged the Federal Government’s move to deduct $418m from States’ funds to settle debts owed consultants engaged by the States and Local Governments in relation to the Paris Club refunds.

The plaintiffs sought an order to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari and others from effecting the planned deduction from States’ funds.

In his judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that Plaintiff has not shown enough evidence to accord them the locus standi to institute the action.

“There was no express evidence to show that the State Governors consented to file of the suit.

“The office of the Attorney General of a State was created under Section 195 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

“The AG of a State is appointed by a Governor, which makes the AG an appointee, who is under the control of a governor.

“From the court’s findings, the plaintiff has no locus standi to file the suit, therefore there was no cause of action.

The court noted that the contention of the Plaintiff that it was not a party to the judgment debt did not hold waters because the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Association of Local Governments were parties in the suit.

The court noted that the plaintiff had acknowledged the existence of judgment debt, insisting that the filing of the court was a ploy to challenge the judgment debt.

“The action of the plaintiff amounts to an abuse of court process.

Consequently, the judge dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.

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