By Hugor Udiogor & Abdulwahab Abdullah
PROSPECTS of fresh legal battle between the federal, state governments on one hand and one of the consultants that pursued the repayment of the excess deductions made on Nigeria’s repayment of foreign loans, Linas International Limited, may have been averted as both parties have resolved to abide by judicial decisions on the matter.
It would be recalled that the federal and the state governments failed to obey the 2013 court judgement in favour of the consultant to pay 20 percent as legal and consultation fees for negotiating the repayment of the excess deductions on foreign loans repayment.
Meanwhile, the consultant has signified its intention to return to the court to enforce two previous judgments of December 3, 2013 and June 27, 2016, respectively but judicial sources told Vanguard that the federal and state governments resolved on Tuesday to abide by the judgments and pay the consultant.
Linas International Limited is vexed that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, failed to deduct the payment of the sum N19,439,225,871.11, being the legal fee charges and yet another provision of $86, 546,526.65 as settlement of the consultant’s fee.
Already, there is a Garnishee Order Absolute on the CBN to pay consultancy fee of 20% to Linas “as the only consultant that pursued the repayment of the excess funds from 1992 to 2002.”
In a fresh suit filed at the Federal High Court on April 20th 2017, against the Federal Government, Counsel to the company, Mr. Joe Odey Agi (SAN) said: “The Attorney General of the Federation, the Minister of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation are the Judgment Debtors/ Respondents, while the state governments, through the Governors Forum, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the State Security Services, SSS, are the Garnishee/ Respondent to the Court Judgment of December 3, 2013, which went in favour of my client.”
A source close to Linas International Ltd said the CBN failed to secure the interest of the other parties by deducting their monies at source.
The source also said the federal government was complicating the situation by handing over the funds to the state governors who were simply treating it as a wind fall from the sale of crude oil or a form of bail out fund.