BREAKING: Governors lose as court dismisses suit against $418m Paris Club debt deduction

Kayode Fayemi [PHOTO CREDIT: @JKayodeFayemi]

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the 36 States against the decision by 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.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment on Friday, upheld the objection by some of the defendants and held that the States’ Attorneys General, who filed the suit on behalf of the States lacked the locus standi (the right to initiate an action before a court) to filed the suit.

Justice Ekwo 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 Governors, cannot sue to challenge the actions of their appointors.

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

The judgment was on the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1313/2021.

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