$53M JUDGMENT DEBT SUIT: Emefiele appeals court summons
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has filed his appeal against the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which compelled him to appear in a $53 million judgment debt suit.
In his ruling last year, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the court summoned the CBN governor over his alleged refusal to obey the court’s order for the payment of the judgment debt in favor of a legal practitioner, Joe Agi (SAN).
Although the court had ordered Emefiele to appear before the court on January 18 (Wednesday), proceedings could not go on as scheduled when the matter was called, prompting the court to subsequently adjourn the case until March 20.
The judgment summons, now a subject of the appeal, was in respect of suit NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/1193/2017, between Joe Agi (SAN), against Linas International Ltd, the Minister of Finance and CBN.
However, Emefiele in his notice of appeal predicated on three grounds submitted that Justice Ekwo erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he made an order compelling his attendance in court for the $53 million debt.
The CBN governor told the appellate court that the appeals marked CA/A/476/2018 between CBN V Joe Agi (SAN), and two others and CA/A/23/2020 between CBN V Joe Agi (SAN) and two others which were appeals against the judgment sought to be enforced by the judgment summons had been entered before the Court of Appeal.
In the appeal filed on January 13, 2023, Emefiele through his lawyer, Damien Dodo (SAN), observed that the proceedings to compel his appearance after appeals had been entered, placed the trial court in a position where it is exercising concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeal over the same subject matter.
He also submitted that the trial judge erred in law which occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it compelled and ordered him to personally appear in court without determining one way or the other, his application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
He, therefore, drew the attention of the appellate court to his application filed on January 27, 2020, challenging the jurisdiction of the court as well as the service of forms 13 and 15 on him for non-compliance with the mandatory provisions of section 56 , part IV, of the Sheriff and Civil Procedure Act.
Emefiele submitted that on February 22, 2022, the appellants jointly filed an application seeking a setting aside of the issuance and service of forms 13 and 15 on him, on the basis that the same ought not to have been issued during the pendency of the two mentioned appeals and the pending motions on notice for a stay of execution dated March 26, 2018, and July 11, 2019, respectively.
The appellant further contended that the lower court erred in law occasioning a miscarriage of justice when it made an order compelling his appearance in court on January 18, 2023, when he was not a party to the suit before.
He, therefore, prayed the appellate court to allow his appeal and set aside the orders made by the Federal High Court.
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