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Court fixed Nov. 22 to hear $151m suit against Abia Govt.

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An FCT High Court, Kubwa, on Tuesday fixed Nov. 22 to hear a suit filed by a financial expert, Dr Maurice Ibe, against the Abia Government and some of its officials over the $151m Paris Club refund.

Ibe, the Chief Executive Officer of Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd, filed the suit against the Abia Government, the Accountant General of Abia and Ziplon Concept.

Mauritz Walton sued the Abia government for refusing to pay an agreed 30 per cent of the sum of 151.4 million dollars, being refund for an over deduction from the Government’s foreign loan portfolio by the Federal Government.

Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya fixed the date for final address, based on an order given by the Court of Appeal to stay proceedings in the suit.

Ogbonnaya added that if the Court of Appeal came up with something before the adjourned date, the parties could apply for abridgement of time.

Earlier, the plaintiff’s counsel, Fatima Ibrahim told the court that the court of appeal gave an interim Order to stay proceedings in the suit pending its decision in a ruling passed on March 30.

The defence counsel, Tony Ugbulafor, however said the case was for adoption of written address but for the order of stay of proceedings.

“By our appearance we are bringing the current status to the court and apply that the matter be adjourned sine die, ” Ugbulafor said.

Our correspondent reports that Abia Government engaged the firm on Nov. 3, 2014 to pursue the refund of excess deductions on foreign loans and miscellaneous.

He said since completion of the reconciliation, the government refused to fulfill its part of the agreement, but rather suspiciously brought in another firm to claim the consultancy fee.

Chukwuma Machukwu, SAN, counsel to the government and the Attorney-General of the state, told the court on Dec. 9, that he filed two appeals which had been entered and motions for stay of the court’s proceedings.

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Joy Kaka

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