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Court restrains FG from deducting $418 mln from states accounts

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The Federal Government plans to deduct $418 million from the bank account of the 36 states of the federation has been halted by a federal High Court in Abuja.

In a ruling delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, the federal government was ordered to suspend the planned action, pending the determination of a suit that was brought before it by governments of the 36 states.

The restraining order followed an ex-parte application filed by the Plaintiffs through their team of lawyers led by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Jibrin Otukepa and Ahmed Raji.

The Plaintiffs had in their application, prayed the court to intervene and stop FG from proceeding with the withdrawal which they said would completely cripple them financially.

They told the court that FG had insisted that the $418 millio it intends to withdraw from state accounts monthly, was to service a debt for contracts that were allegedly executed for the states.

The Plaintiffs told the court that after the said contracts were carefully scrutinized by their various Attorneys General, as well as a purported judgement debt the FG relied on, it was found that the 36 states were not parties to court action that resulted to the judgment debt.

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Lead counsel to the Plaintiffs, Okutekpa further submitted that the purported contracts claimed to have been executed for the states, were not known to any of the 36 state governments and is, therefore, a phoney contract.

He told the court that FG was the only party to the court case that led to the judgment.

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