Sunday, January 23, 2022

Court fixes date for hearing on $151m refund suit against Abia govt

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An FCT High Court, Kubwa, on Thursday fixed Feb. 28 to hear a suit filed by a financial expert, Dr Maurice Ibe, against the Abia government and some of its officials over the $151 million Paris club refund.

Mr Ibe, the Chief Executive Officer of Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd, in a suit filed by his company against the Abia State government, the Accountant General of Abia and Ziplon Concept.

Mauritz Walton sued the Abia government for refusing to pay an agreed 30 per cent of the sum of 151.4 million dollars, being refunded for the over deduction from Abia government foreign loan portfolio by the Federal Government.

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Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya fixed the date for report and hearing, based on the interim Order to stay proceedings as ordered by the Court of Appeal.

Earlier, the plaintiff’s counsel, Isaac Anumudu told the court that the last time both parties were before the court of appeal, it gave an interim Order for the stay of proceedings.

He however urged the court to adjourn the matter pending the outcome of the matter.

Chukwuma Machukwu, SAN, counsel to Abia government and the Attorney-General of the state said he filed two appeals which had been entered and filed motions for stay of the court’s proceedings.

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Mr Machukwu however urged the court to adjourn the matter sine die pending the outcome of the case.

In response, Mr Anumudu objected to a sine die adjournment saying that the court of appeal gave a definite date for hearing and a sine die adjournment would make the case indefinite.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, recalls that Mr Ibe, said the Abia government engaged his firm on Nov. 3, 2014 to pursue the refund of excess deductions on foreign loans and miscellaneous

He said since completion of the reconciliation, the government refused to fulfill its part of the agreement, but rather suspiciously brought in another firm to claim the consultancy fee.

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