Tuesday, June 6, 2023

$53m debt: Emefiele appeals judgment compelling his appearance in court

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via ibroramalan@gmail.com, or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele has asked the Appeal court to set aside an order of a lower court compelling his appearance in a 53 million dollars judgment debt proceedings.

Mr Emefiele’ Counsel, Joe Agi, SAN, had obtained a judgment summons against the CBN governor following his alleged refusal to obey the order of court for the payment of the judgment debt.

The judgment summons, now a subject of appeal, is in respect of suit NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/1193/2017, between Joe Agi, SAN, against Linas International Ltd.

Others are, the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Justice Inyang Ekwo who issued the judgment summons in October, 2022 specifically ordered the CBN governor to appear before his court on January 18, 2023.

However, the matter before the trial court has been adjourned to March 20, 2023.

In his notice of appeal predicated on three grounds and dated Jan. 13, the Emefiele contended that the trial judge erred in law.

Mr Emefiele informed the appellate court that the appeals marked CA/A/476/2018 between CBN V Joe Agi, SAN, & 2 others and CA/A/23/2020 between CBN V Joe Agi, SAN, & 2 others which are appeals against the judgment sought to be enforced by the judgment summons have been enetred before the Appeal court.

Consequently, he argued through his counsel, Damien Dodo, SAN, that the proceedings to compel his appearance after the appeals have been entered, places the trial court in a position where it is exercising concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeal over the same subject matter.

He equally submitted that the trial judge erred in law which occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it compelled and ordered him to personally appear in court without determining one way or the other, his application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

On this ground, he drew the attention of the appellate court to his application filed on January 27, 2020, challenging the jurisdiction of the court as well as the service of form 13 and 15 on him for non-compliance with the mandatory provisions of section 56, part IV, of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act.

In addition, he submitted that on February 22, 2022, the appellants jointly filed an application seeking a setting aside of the issuance and service of form 13 and 15 on him.

He added on the basis that same ought not to have been issued during the pendency of the two mentioned appeals and the pending motions on notice for stay of execution dated March 26, 2018 and July 11, 2019 respectively.

The appellant further contended that the lower court erred in law occasioning a miscarriage of justice when it made an order compelling his appearance in court on January 18, 2023, when he is not a party to the suit before it.

He, therefore, prayed the appellate court to allow his appeal and set aside the orders made by the Federal High Court.


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