$70m judgment debt: Trouble looms as court summons Emefiele again
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to appear before it on January 18, 2023, to explain his refusal to obey a valid order for payment of a $70 million debt.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo issued the fresh order yesterday following confirmation that Emefiele was yet to pay the judgment debt.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Joe Odey Agi, had obtained judgment summon against the CBN governor following his persistent refusal to carry out the order of the court on the judgment debt.
But rather than honouring the judgment summon served on him through a newspaper publication, Emefiele, through his lawyer, Damian Dodo (SAN), applied that the summon be set aside.
His ground was that an appeal had been instituted against the court order for the judgment summon.
But counsel to the applicant, Joseph Njikonye (SAN) objected to Emefiele’s motion on the ground that the order for the payment had not been effected.
Njikonye argued that the CBN boss is in contempt of court and must be made to purge himself before the court could give him an audience.
In a brief ruling, Justice Ekwo agreed that Emefiele must come to equity with a clean hand by obeying a subsisting order of court on the judgment debt payment or honour judgment summons issued against him to offer reasons for disobeying court order.
The judge, subsequently, fixed January 18, 2023, for the CBN governor to physically and personally appear before the court as required by law.
The court had ordered the apex bank, through Garnishee Nisi absolute, to pay the senior lawyer $70 million, being legal fees for services rendered to some states and the 774 councils. The Guardian