By Peter Duru
COMMISSIONER for Justice and Attorney General of Benue State, Mr. Micheal Gusa, yesterday, said the state government was not served the process that led to the freezing of its bank accounts by an Abuja High Court.
The court presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo had, Wednesday, in an ex-parte motion brought by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, issued an interim order freezing all bank accounts of the state government following the inability of a business organisation to pay back a loan for which the then administration in 2008 issued an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order, ISPO, to the tune of N333million.
Reacting to the order, the Mr. Gusa said without being served, the state government had commenced the process of vacating the order.
He said: “We have not been served with that process. We have not even seen the originating summons but we have sent our lawyers to the court to know what the problem is because of the urgency of the matter and the way all government accounts have been placed on lien.
“The order was made in a motion ex-parte based on a purported contract that was gone into between a business man and the Labour Congress here in Benue State.
“It was said that Benue State government issued an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order, ISPO, by way of guaranteeing that the loan would be paid.
“So Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, now went and purchased that loan from the business man and they have now gone to court, though we have not seen the process because we have not been served. They went ahead to file a motion ex-parte to get that order placing all Benue state government account under lien.
“When we get the process we will also commence proceedings to set aside the order. We are in court already; we will get the process and see how that can be vacated. I must point out that the matter is in court and there is a limit to what I can say about the issue but all we know is that first and foremost you can see that it is a loan that was obtained in 2008. How many years from then to today?
“You can even on the face of it see that the action is status barred. But I do not want to say anything more since I have not seen the process myself.
“But looking at the matter on the face of it, that transaction was done in 2008 until now the money has not been paid and you came to garnish our accounts. When we get the originating summons we will also file our processes in court to get it placated,” he said.