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14 Jan 2020

$53m Debt: CBN Governor, Emefiele, Faces Jail Term

Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, over a judgment debt of $53m.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joe Agi, had initiated a garnishee proceeding against the CBN for the purpose of recovering a judgment debt of $70m from Linas International Limited and the Minister of Finance.

The SAN had last year July obtained a garnishee order absolute against the CBN in order to recover the $70m judgment debt from Linas International Limited and the Minister of Finance.

According to a court document, Form 15 (Judgment Summons), sighted by one of our correspondents on Monday, following the garnishee order absolute, the CBN had paid Agi part of the $70m, leaving a balance of $53m.

The summons said Emefiele must on January 23, 2020 appear before Justice Ekwo at Courtroom 5, Federal High Court in Abuja, to give reasons why he should not be sent to prison, following the failure of the CBN to release the balance of $53m to Agi.

According to the summons, Emefiele must appear before the judge “to be examined on oath touching the means you have or have had, since the date of the said garnishee order absolute, to pay the balance of $53m now due and payable under the said garnishee order absolute and also show cause why you should not be committed to prison for default in payment of the said sum.”

Meanwhile, following an ex parte application, Justice Ekwo ordered Agi to serve the summons on Emefiele through substituted means by “publishing the summons in any of the following newspapers, viz: The PUNCH, Daily Trust or The Nation.”

“The newspaper publication ordered shall be made within 21 days of this order.

“Case adjourned till 23rd January, 2020, for mention,” the judge said.

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