FEMI Falana (SAN), human rights lawyer, has issued a notice to sue the Federal Government in order to discourage it from going ahead with its plan to obtain $3.5bn loan from the World Bank and the African Development Bank and to compel it to retrieve about $66.5bn government’s recoverable revenues, royalties and levies from some public and private bodies as well as some individuals.
Falana, in a letter dated February 12, 2016, which was addressed to the Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, threatened to file the suit against the federal government not later than February 29.
He said his planned suit was necessitated by the minister’s failure to respond to the “serious issues” which he raised in his earlier letter.
His fresh letter issuing the notice of legal proceedings was entitled, ‘Re: Federal Government’s plan to seek $3.5bn emergency loan from World Bank and African Development Bank should be dropped.’
The letter read, “Our letter dated February 5, 2016, in respect of the above subject matter refers.
“Since you have not deemed it fit to react to the serious issues raised in the letter, kindly be informed that we shall commence legal proceedings not later than February 29, 2015, with a view to compelling the Federal Government to recover the said loans, royalties levies and other recoverable revenues of not less than $66.5bn.”
Falana had in his earlier letter to the minister of finance, argued that there was no need to obtain a $3.5bn loan to finance the budget when the federal government could recover about $66.5bn it was being owed.
The lawyer urged the Federal Government to drop its proposition to obtain the foreign loan, noting that it required the endorsement of the International Monetary Fund, which he said, usually imposes stringent conditions on borrowing countries.
He lamented that the debt profile of the country had now grown to $64bn after it took much effort in 2005 for the country to exit the London/Paris Club after struggling to repay a loan of $12.4bn.
Falana urged the federal government to make effort to recover the over $66.5bn accruable to it, rather than obtain loan to finance the 2016 budget.
Culled from Punch
— Feb 15, 2016 @ 14:15 GMT