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National Tribune

Flagging The Conscience Of Truth

Emefiele Given Ultimatum to Explain $53 Million Debt as Court Mulls Arrest Warrant

ByWeb Manager

Nov 1, 2023

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted a further extension, until January 25, for the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to personally appear in court and provide an explanation regarding the $53 million judgment debt stemming from the Pars Club refund.

Justice Inyang Ekwo delivered a brief ruling, offering Emefiele another opportunity to present himself in court, or face the issuance of an arrest warrant. This decision came after Emefiele’s counsel, Audu Anuga, SAN, stated that they were unable to secure his client’s physical appearance, as he was still in custody.

Anuga also mentioned that an affidavit explaining why an arrest warrant should not be issued against Emefiele was filed on October 30.

Justice Ekwo inquired if Joe Agi, SAN, the judgment creditor/applicant’s counsel, had received the affidavit. Agi’s lawyer, I.A. Nnana, confirmed receipt but requested time to respond. The judge cautioned against late filing of documents and emphasized that the matter had been ongoing since July 19.

Anuga explained that every effort had been made to secure Emefiele’s release, but the order had not been complied with, leading to the filing of the affidavit.

Emefiele’s counsel suggested exploring a settlement, citing previous efforts and the change of CBN leadership. However, Justice Ekwo insisted that Emefiele must appear on the next adjourned date, reminding that court orders must be complied with.

The court adjourned the case until January 25 to allow Emefiele to demonstrate why an arrest warrant should not be issued against him.

Emefiele had previously cited his detention by the Department of State Service (DSS) as the reason for his non-appearance in court. An affidavit on his behalf emphasized that his absence was beyond his control, not a sign of disrespect to the court.

The court had threatened to issue an arrest warrant against Emefiele on July 19 for failing to appear in court. The case relates to Emefiele’s alleged refusal to obey a court order for the payment of a judgment debt in favor of legal practitioner Joe Agi, SAN.

The proceedings have seen multiple adjournments, and Emefiele’s suspension as CBN governor and subsequent arrest and detention by the DSS and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have further complicated the situation.

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