Paris Club Funds: CBN Governor risks prison over $53m Garnishee Order

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin I. Emefiele risks being committed to prison for failing to honour a Garnishee Order Absolute to pay the balance of $53m due and payable under the said Order to Mr. Joe Agi (SAN) and team of lawyers that facilitated the Paris Club fund matter for the Federal Government.

Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on November 20, 2019 under form 15, issued the judgment summon to Emefiele in a case with suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/1193/2017 instituted against Central Bank Of Nigeria as Garnishee/Respondent, Linas International Limited and the Hon. Minister Of Finance as Judgment Debtors Garnishees by Mr. Joe Agi Judgment as Creditor/Applicant on behalf of a team of benefitting lawyers.

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This order is coming barely 48 hours after an Abuja High Court, presided over by Justice Jude Okeke, sentenced the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Olusegun Runsewe, to prison in a ruling on a motion drawn from a suit filed by Ummakalif Limited against Minister of the FCT, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), DG of NCAC, and the Minister for Culture and Tourism, as the first, second, third and fourth defendants respectively.

This judgment summon, which was issued by Justice Ekwo and made available in Calabar at the weekend said: “the plaintiff/judgment creditor obtained Garnishee Order Absolute against the Central Bank of Nigeria in this matter on the 5th day of July 2019, for the sum of $70,000,000.00 (Seventy million US dollars) and the same sum remains partially unsatisfied till date to the tune of $53m.

“The Judgment Creditor has filed an affidavit in this Court, a copy whereof in hereunto annexed, wherein it is alleged that you the above-named Godwin Emefiele are liable (as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Garnishee) to pay the sum payable under the said Garnishee Order Absolute…”

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It would be recalled that there is a judgment on Paris Club fund, where the Federal Government approved the payment of money, and the court ordered that they should pay 20 percent of the fee to be paid to a team of lawyers, led by Agi. But the CBN governor ignored the order and paid less to all the lawyers out of the total sum of $70m.

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