Monday, 7 August 2017

Paris Club refund: Court freezes C/River State's account

A Federal High court sitting in Abuja has ordered the immediate freezing of the Paris-London Club refund accounts of Abia, Cross River and Delta states.

The accounts to be frozen are listed as follows: Abia state Paris and London Club Debit Refund, 1019892950, UBA Bank Plc; CRS Paris and London Club Debit Refund, 101989719, UBA Bank Plc; and DTSG CRS Paris and London Club Debit Refund, 1012906702, Zenith Bank Plc respectively.

While giving the order, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, in Abuja said there were allegations that the governors of the three states preferred making payments to family members, friends, and cronies in the guise of settling the fees for consultancy services at the expense of the real consultant progenitor of the Paris-London Club Refund.

Investigations carried out revealed that Cross River state government led by Sen. Liyel Imoke had engaged Mauritz Walton Nigeria Ltd on the 3rd of November, 2014 to pursue the refund of excess deductions on foreign loans and miscellaneous charges in exchange of 20 percent of any fund recovered.

Abia state government led by Theophilus Orji had engaged the same firm on the same date for  miscellaneous charges in exchange of 30 percent of any fund recovered. Delta state government under governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan also engaged the services of Mauritz Walton Nigeria Ltd in exchange of 30 percent of any fund recovered.

Currently the sum Cross River state owes Mauritz Walton Nigeria Ltd is siad to be  $8,050,000 and N1.2bn, Abia state government reportedly owes the sum of $11,325,000 and N1.72bn; ; While, Delta state government owes $27,274,135 and N3bn.

According to documents exclusively obtained by DAILY POST, the court order was sequel to an affidavit in support of ex-parte originating summons sworn to by Dr. Maurice Ibe, the Chairman and Managing Director of Mauritz Walton Nigeria Ltd, and filed before the court by his Counsel; Alex Marama, Charles Ude, and Kenneth N. Esq.

Ibe averred that there is an urgent need for the court to direct the third defendants (United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Zenith Bank Nig. Plc) in the suits CV/2470/17, CV/2536/17, CV/2469/17 and motions M/8777/17, M8780/17, M/8784/17 to, in the interim, stop further disbursement of the money already in or accruing to the respective Paris-London Club Refund accounts domiciled with them which belong to the three states respectively.

The Court also ordered the banks to set up an escrow account where the said funds will be deposited pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.
Justice Halilu, while granting the order freezing the accounts, adjourned the suit to 7th September, 2017 for hearing.

Source: Daily Post