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Court dismisses governors’ $418 million Paris Club debt case against FG

Court dismisses governors’ $418 million Paris Club debt case against FG



On Friday, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court dismissed the $418 million Paris Club debt suit filed by the 36 state governments against the federal government.


Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.

“I do not see any merit in this case on the whole and I hereby dismiss it for lack of merit,” Mr Ekwo said.


The judge held that the 36 states’ attorneys general, who instituted the suit, had no locus standi to file the matter.

On November 5, 2021, the court restrained the federal government from deducting monies accruing to the states from the federation account to settle $418 million judgment debt concerning the Paris Club Refund pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The court gave the order following an ex parte motion moved by counsel to the plaintiffs, Jibrin Okutekpa.

According to the motion dated and filed October 27, 43 defendants were sued in the matter. Although four prayers were sought, Mr Ekwo granted three in the motion ex parte.


The reliefs sought by the plaintiffs include an order of interim injunction, restraining the federal government from deducting any money accruing or due to the states.

The senior lawyer, who informed the court that the federal government had not commenced the deduction of the monies, withdrew the fourth prayer, asking for a refund of the monies deducted.

He hinted that the deduction was expected to begin in November 2021, and despite his clients’ protest against the action, the defendants had vowed to go ahead with the deduction.

He said if allowed, no state would be able to pay workers’ salaries. Besides, Mr Okutekpa argued that the states were not a party to any contract resulting in the debts.


“That is why we ran to your court,” he said.



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