24 November 2012

Nigeria: Judgment On $12.4 Billion Oil Windfall Adjourned

A court in Abuja yesterday adjourned till November 29 judgment in a suit seeking information on how $12.4 billion accrued from oil windfall was spent by the Federal Government during former President Ibrahim Babangida's tenure.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, apologized that he was unable to prepare the judgment due to other cases he has been working on.

He said "I apologize. It was not due to laziness, but because my court is overwhelmed with cases that require rulings and judgments".

The court, which was meant to deliver judgment yesterday, has adjourned judgment a number of times.

The case was instituted by six civil society groups against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) asking that the accrued revenue be accounted for.

The groups are the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Women Advocates and Documentation Center, Committee for Defence of Human Rights, Access to Justice, Human and Environmental Development Agenda and Partnership for Justice.

The plaintiffs want an order compelling the AGF and CBN to publish a detailed statement of account showing how the money was spent between 1988 and 1994.

They said the government had set up the Okigbo panel in 1994 to investigate CBN's activities and recommend measures for the re-organization of the Bank and one of its findings was that the $12.4 billion in the Dedicated and Special Accounts had depleted to $200 million by June 1994.

But the defendants had argued that the plaintiffs had no locus standi to institute the action.

Moreover, they said they had no duty to render an account on the spending of the money to the plaintiffs and that the Okigbo report was missing.

Copyright © 2012 Daily Trust. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.