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COURT DISMISSES 36 STATES’ SUIT CHALLENGING $418M PARIS CLUB DEBT DEDUCTION

The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the 36 states against the decision by the Federal Government to deduct $418 million from the Federation Account to settle debts owed consultants engaged by the states and local governments in relation to the Paris Club refunds.

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 state 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 state 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.

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The court further held that the plaintiffs had acknowledged the existence of judgment debt, insisting that the filing of the suit was a ploy to challenge the judgement debt.

The judge proceeded to consider the suit 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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