A Federal supreme court in Abuja has given approval to an invitation for the prosecution of a suit seeking to compel the financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) and itas Governor, Godwin Emefiele to disclose details of a number of the bank’s recent dealings.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, during a ruling, granted leave to the Incorporated Trustees of Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative (ASRADI) to use for review , vide order of mandamus, compelling the CBN and its Governor to furnish, supply and make available thereto , all information or answers relevant to all or any the questions contained in its letter to the respondents dated, Columbus Day , 2020, on its expenditure.
The judge ordered the ASRADI to proceed to file the substantive suit and serve the respondents before February 11, 2021, being the date slated for the hearing of the matter.
The ruling delivered on December 2, 2020, a replica of which was sighted on December 4, 2020, was on an ex-parte application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1431/2020 filed by ASRADI and argued by its lawyer, Jude Mmouka.
ASRADI’s executive , Adeolu Oyinlola, stated, during a supporting affidavit, that his group resorted to the court action due to the respondents’ refusal to honour its Freedom of data (FOI) request on some recent expenditure made by the CBN.
“The 1st and 2nd respondents have deliberately failed/refused/neglected to form available to the applicant the knowledge requested for.
“The public interest to be served by the knowledge requested by the applicant from the first and 2nd respondents outweighs the other consideration(s) for denying the request.
“The applicant’s application is underscored or motivated by the will to stop or a minimum of , discourage abuse of power or position and wastage of public funds or taxpayers’ money.
“Unless there’s an order from this honourable court compelling or mandating the first and 2nd respondents to try to to so, they’ll not willingly, freely and readily make available to the applicant all the knowledge requested for,” Oyinlola said within the affidavit.
Some of the questions the group wants the CBN to answer include, whether it had dealings with any company with which late Ismaila Isa Funtua was connected? Who are the present owners of Keystone Bank? And, what proportion was purchased the acquisition of Keystone Bank and what’s its share structure?
“Did CBN provide exchange to Teleology Holdings Ltd (or the other entity to which it’s associated) during its acquisition of defunct Telecom Service Provider ETISALAT? If so, what was the quantum? On what terms and under what circumstances?
“Has CBN’s parking zone in any location been expanded, extended, upgraded or improved? If the solution is within the affirmative, when, at what cost and by which firm? Was the contract advertised as needed by the general public Procurement Act?”
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