$12.4bn oil windfall: Court gives judgment on Okigbo’s report today

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By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—After six successive adjournments, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, will today, deliver judgment on the suit seeking to compel the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to disclose how the $12.4 billion oil windfall money that accrued to the Federal Government between 1988 and 1994, was spent.

The suit was filed before the High Court by six civil society groups led by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

Though the verdict was stalled since October 2011, when hearing was concluded on the matter, however, Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the matter for judgment after all the parties, re-adopted the processes they filed before the court on September 26.

On six successive occasions that the trial Judge invited parties in the suit to appear in court for the judgment, he subsequently adjourned on excuse that there were minor typographic errors that needed correction.

Some of the dates the judgment suffered sudden adjournments included October 20, 2011, April 27, 2012 and July 27.

It would be recalled that in 1994, the Federal Government constituted the Pius Okigbo Panel with a mandate to investigate the activities of the CBN and recommend measures for the re-organisation of the apex bank.

In the course of its assignment, the Okigbo Panel reportedly uncovered that about $12.4 billion that was reserved in the ‘Dedicated and Special Accounts,’ was depleted to $200 million by June 1994.

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