January 19, (THEWILL) – The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has asked the Appeal court to set aside an order of a Federal High Court, compelling his appearance in a $53 million judgement debt proceedings.
The motion on appeal followed a ruling of the court by Justice Inyang Ekwo, who summoned the CBN governor to appear before it over a court’s order for the payment of judgement debt in favour of a legal practitioner, Joe Agi (SAN).
Although the court, on October 18, 2022, ordered Emefiele to appear before it on Wednesday, January 18, proceedings could not go on as scheduled when the matter was called, prompting the court to subsequently adjourn the case till March 20.
The judgement summons, was in respect of suit NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/1193/2017, between Joe Agi (SAN), against Linas International Ltd, the Minister of Finance and CBN.
But in a notice of appeal predicated on three grounds, Emefiele argued that Justice Ekwo erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he made an order compelling his attendance in court for the $53 million debt.
The CBN governor told the appellate court that the appeals marked CA/A/476/2018 between CBN V Joe Agi (SAN), and two others and CA/A/23/2020 between CBN V Joe Agi (SAN) and two others, which were appeals against the judgement sought to be enforced by the judgement summons had been entered before the Court of Appeal.
Filed on January 13, 2023, Emefiele through his lawyer, Damien Dodo (SAN), observed that the proceedings to compel his appearance after appeals had been entered, placed the trial court in a position where it is exercising concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeal over the same subject matter.
He also argued that the trial judge erred in law which occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it compelled and ordered him to personally appear in court without determining one way or the other, his application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
Emefiele drew the attention of the appellate court to his application filed on January 27, 2020, challenging the jurisdiction of the court, as well as the service of forms 13 and 15 on him for non-compliance with the mandatory provisions of section 56, part IV, of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act.
He submitted that on February 22, 2022, the appellants jointly filed an application seeking to set aside the issuance and service of forms 13 and 15 on him, on the basis that the same ought not to have been issued during the pendency of the two mentioned appeals and the pending motions on notice for a stay of execution dated March 26, 2018, and July 11, 2019 respectively.
The appellant further contended that the lower court erred in law occasioning a miscarriage of justice when it made an order compelling his appearance in court on January 18, 2023, when he was not a party to the suit before.
He, therefore, prayed the appellate court to allow his appeal and set aside the orders made by the Federal High Court.