Opposition parties sue FG over $22.7bn loan

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Imo Ugochinyere
Imo Ugochinyere

THE Coalition of United Political Party, CUPP, made up of opposition parties, on Monday, March 16, sued President Muhammadu Buhari, the federal government, and others over the move to borrow $22.7 billion.  The other defendants in the suit with reference number FHC/ABJ/CS/2020 are the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, the minister of finance and the National Assembly.

A suit filed on behalf of CUPP before the Federal High Court, Abuja, through the Action People’s Party, APP, its member, prayed the court to restrain the federal government from further engaging in any form of borrowing.

Chibuzor Ezike, APP’s lawyer, who filed the suit, is asking the court to set aside or nullify any approval for external loan granted the federal government by the National Assembly.

The CUPP is seeking for a “declaration that it is unlawful and unconstitutional for the National Assembly to offer to undertake any guarantee for the requested external loan made by the President when the terms and conditions of the said loan has not been duly laid before, considered and approved by the NASS as mandatorily stipulated by the law.”

It also prayed the court to declare as unconstitutional, unlawful and ultra vires the executive powers of the President to borrow external loan and participate in the negotiation and acquisition of any external loan without proper legislative framework by the NASS.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Imo Ugochinyere, CUPP’s publicity secretary, in a statement on Monday, March 16, said the group has written to all the lenders to halt the loan request in view of the pending legal action.

Part of the statement reads: “The loan request is riddled with project lopsidedness, lack of financial prudence, secrecy, plan to use loan for frivolous projects, over costing of projects, corruption, misapplication and incompetence. The Senate leadership has clearly and unambiguously shown it is not on the side of the people and it is not representing the Nigerian people but their selfish interest.

“There unpatriotic stand on national issues and lack of vision has become all the more apparent and have turned the Senate into a chamber filled by Political Allelluya boys.

“Fellow Nigerians, the exchange rate of the Dollars due to certain vagaries including gross mismanagement of our economy is now chasing N400 to a Dollar. This means that at this rate, the $22.7b foreign loan will be the equivalent N9, 080,000,000,000 (nine trillion and eighty billion naira only)

“This is more than the entire 2019 budget and just a little less than the entire 2020 budget. How can a government borrow its entire budget yet citizens are in doubt as to the contents of the loan package.”

 

– Mar. 16, 2020 @ 8:20 GMT |

 

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