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Judge transfers Nigerian Ruler’s $30bn loan suit to Abuja

by on January 17, 2020
Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of Osogbo Federal High Court on Thursday transferred to Abuja the matter instituted before it by an Osun State-based lawyer, seeking order to stop President Muhammadu Buhari and four others from obtaining a fresh foreign loan of $29.96bn. An ex-chairman of Nigeria Bar Association, Ilesha branch, Mr Kanmi Ajibola, had approached the court, seeking an order of mandamus to stop the President from taking new loan. Others dragged to court on the issue were the Senate President; the Speaker, House of Representatives; the National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation. Counsel for the claimant, Mr Adesina Ogunlala, told the court that his client filed the motion in pursuant of Order 34, Rules 1,2 and 3 of the FCT (civil procedure) rules 2019 and Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, sections 6 (6) (b), 251 (i). Ogunlana also said the motion by his client was supported by a 58-paragraph affidavit and three exhibits. He asked the court to exercise its power by granting reliefs sought by his clients. According to him, reliefs asked for by his client included an order restraining the National Assembly from giving approval to the sum of $29.96bn foreign loan or any other amount projected for infrastructure. The claimant also sought the order of the court compelling the President to avail him information on local and foreign debt profiles and the defrayment modalities, the list of all the FG projects being executed from the loans taken from 2015 to date, the financial cost of all executed projects from 2015 and the total sum of money recovered so far from the late General Sani Abacha’s loot. In his ruling, Justice Ayo-Emmanuel ordered that the matter be transferred to the Federal High Court Abuja for easy prosecution. The judge said since all respondents in the suit resided in the Federal Capital Territory, the suit should be transferred to the Federal High Court in Abuja.

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