By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, yesterday, approached a Federal High Court, sitting in Benin, Edo State, asking it to stop the state government from sourcing N30 billion bond from the capital market to execute on-going projects in the state.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole had written to the state House of Assembly, requesting it to approve the N30billion bond, which it intends to source from the capital market.
Consequently, the House approved his demand last Monday, after it acknowledged that the move was to assist government in completing on-going projects in the state.
But reacting swiftly, the PDP and its 10 House of Assembly members, went to court. Defedants in the suit are Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE, Governor of Edo State, Attorney General of Edo State and Edo State House of Assembly.
They are contending in the suit that by virtue of what happened in the state House of Assembly in February 2010, it was a “renegade group pretending to be Edo State House of Assembly that has been sitting and therefore, did not constitute itself properly and is not competent to grant the request by the state Governor to go to the bond market through a resolution.”
According to them, the lawmakers did not meet the constitutional requirements to get the approval of SEC and NSE to go to the bond market, praying the court to declare that, “the 1st defendant has no power under the extant laws governing capital market operations in Nigeria to approve and/or grant the request for N30 billion bond from the Nigerian capital market by the Edo State government without the constitutional approval of a duly convened session of Edo State House of Assembly.”
They want the court to declare the move as “ultra vires,” contending that the request from the state government as approved by a not properly constituted House contravened the prescribed preconditions in the Central Bank Act, 2007.
The party further prayed the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendant from approving and/or allowing the Government of Edo State represented in this suit by the 2nd and 3rd defendants access to the Nigerian capital market for the purpose of obtaining the aforesaid facility.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 3rd – 5th defendants from presenting to the 1st and 2nd defendants the request of the Government of Edo state for the aforesaid facility of N30 billion bond from the capital market without the approval of a constitutionally convened session of Edo state house of assembly.