Paris Club refund: Court summons Emefiele over $53m debt


The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, once again summoned the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over a $53 million judgement debt arising from the Paris Club refunds.

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The presiding judge, Inyang Ekwo, mandated that the court will not hear Emefiele’s motion for stay until he appears before it.

Emefiele was initially invited to appear before it on January 18, 2023, to explain his refusal to obey a valid order for payment of $70m debt.

The CBN governor allegedly released only $17 million, leaving $53 million in unpaid debt.

Joe Agi, SAN, obtained a judgement summon against the CBN governor following his persistent refusal to carry out the order of the court on the judgement debt.

But rather than honouring the judgement 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 judgement summon.

But counsel for the applicant, Joseph Njikonye, SAN, objected to Emefiele’s motion on the ground that the order for the payment had not been effected.

In a brief ruling, Justice Ekwo agreed that Emefiele must come to equity in clean hands by obeying subsisting order of the court on the judgement debt payment or honour judgement summon issued against him to offer reasons for disobeying the court order.

On Tuesday, counsel to Agi, Ayodele Arotiowa, notified the court that at the last adjourned date, Emefiele was asked to appear before the court but the CBN Governor has not obeyed the order.

Reacting, counsel to Emefiele and CBN, Audu Anuga disclosed that the court did not sit on the last adjourned date and that his client had filed an appeal against the order with a motion of stay.

Justice Ekwo adjourned the case to July 19.

Meanwhile, in his response to Anuga, Ekwo said “I am not going to hear you on this application until Mr. Godwin Emefiele appears in court.

“Therefore, I am going to give you a date for you to report to the court in compliance with the order of the court.

“Upon being aware that the motion for stay of execution is a live matter in this court, this court shall not hear that application unless and until Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who has been ordered to appear in court, appears in court.”