Paris Club Refund: Court Summons Emefiele Over $53m Debt
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele to appear before it on July 19 over a 53 million dollar-judgment debt arising from the Pars Club refund.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who gave the order during the hearing of the suit insisted that the court would not hear Emefiele’s motion for stay until he appears in court.
Justice Ekwo had on October 20, 2022, ordered the CBN governor to appear in court on January 18 over his alleged refusal to obey the order of the court for the payment of the judgment debt in favor of a legal practitioner, Joe Agi, SAN.
However, on January 18, proceedings could not go on as scheduled due to the absence of Emefiele prompting the court to subsequently adjourn the case till March 20.
Agi had dragged Linas International Ltd, Minister of Finance, and CBN to court as 1st to 3rd judgment debtors respectively, following an application for garnishee made by him as judgment creditor in the case.
Upon resumed hearing on Tuesday, Agi’s counsel, Ayodele Arotiowa, said that on the last adjourned date, the court made an order that Emefiele should appear on the next date and that the order had not been obeyed.
Audu Anuga, SAN, who appeared for Emefiele and CBN, reminded the court that it didn’t sit on the last adjourned date.
Anuga also informed the court of an appeal filed on the 28th day of October 2022 and also a motion for stay and an affidavit of fact before the court.
Arotiowa said though they have been served with the processes, they have also responded.
Reacting Justice Ekwo said that it was because of the order he made that Emefiele should appear in court that prompted them to go on appeal to prevent him from appearing before the court.
Justice Ekwo further declined to hear any application from Emefiele’s counsel until the CBN governor appears in court.
He adjourned the matter until July 19 for a report on the compliance with the order of the court.
The dispute stemmed from an alleged €64.77 million judgment against Linas International Ltd for the lawyer’s (Joe Agi) assistance with the Paris Club refund. Emefiele was said to have only released €15.73 million, leaving an unpaid balance of €49.04 million.