Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Federal Government to pay a cumulative sum of over $3 billion (about N1.4 trillion) to Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
The quantity stands as shares of the 2 states from $62 billion crude oil gross sales mentioned to have been recovered from some oil firms.
In the judgment delivered on Tuesday, Justice Taiwo ordered the federal authorities to pay Rivers $1.114.551.610 and one other $2.258.411.586 being the quantity individually claimed towards the federal authorities as their shares from $62 billion.
The plaintiffs within the go well with are the Attorney General of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states whereas the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice is the only real defendant.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Taiwo held that the federal authorities admitted the claims of the 2 states by its refusal to defend the case when served with the court docket papers.
Justice Taiwo mentioned the mere discover of intention to defend the case with out becoming a member of points with the plaintiffs was not sufficient in any court docket matter.
By refusing to debunk or controvert the claims of the 2 states, the Judge held that the federal authorities had legally admitted that each one the averments and claims of plaintiffs be true.
Justice Taiwo additional held that the go well with of the 2 states was based on the Supreme Court on how proceeds from crude oil gross sales ought to be shared, including that the declare of the 2 states on the restoration of extra $62 billion was by no means controverted by the defendant regardless of a number of correspondences, therefore the regulation deems the claims as the reality.
The court docket rejected the assertion of the federal authorities that it can’t pay any cash it didn’t obtain from the oil firm, including that the defendant must have filed a bona-fide defence to elucidate its place in court docket as required by regulation.
“By not filling a defence to the claims of the two plaintiffs, I have no option but to hold that the defendant has no defence to the case and I have no discretion than to give judgment in favour of the plaintiffs.
“I hereby order that a sum of $1.114.551.610 be paid to Rivers State and $2.258.414.586 to Akwa Ibom State being their shares from the $62 billion recovered from sales of crude oil.”
Meanwhile, Nigerian authorities is broke and has been closely borrowing to fund its budgets and for capital and recurrent expenditure.
Nigeria is broke
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, lately admitted that Nigeria’s economic system was going through a tough time, saying states should enhance their internally generated revenues.
The minister was talking on the controversy over a declare by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, that the Central Bank of Nigeria printed N60 billion in March to enhance the cash shared at March FAAC.
Though the minister dismissed Obaseki’s declare, she mentioned the nation’s economic system was nonetheless stabilising from the recession which the nation exited a couple of months in the past.
She, nonetheless, added, “These are very tough difficult occasions as a result of revenues are low and the demand for expenditures are very excessive understandably as a result of we’ve to maintain intervening to ensure the pandemic is contained in addition to the financial affect it has induced.
“In our case in Nigeria, the crash of the crude oil costs actually hit us very onerous when it comes to income. We have very low revenues, we’ve very excessive expenditures. What we’ve performed thus far is simply to offer some stability to ensure salaries are paid, pensions are obtained each month; that we ship funds to the judiciary and the legislature; that we meet our debt service obligations.
“That’s what we’re doing. It additionally means we’ve needed to borrow greater than we had deliberate earlier than the COVID-19 began as a result of we have to nonetheless proceed to put money into infrastructure utilizing our nationwide finances. We borrowed to put money into key tasks comparable to roads, rail, airports, seaports and a number of other different investments which are required in well being and in schooling and upgrading the social requirements and high quality of lifetime of our individuals and Nigeria will not be distinctive as a number of nations of the world went into recession.”