Nov 23, 2012

$12.4 billion oil windfall: Judge ajourns judgement for the 7th time

The presiding judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Gabriel Kolawole on Friday, postponed the delivery of judgement on how the $12.4 billion oil windfall money accrued to the Federal Government between 1988 and 1994 was spent.

General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was in power at that time and most analysts see the new development as a curious one. They believe the verdict is being delayed deliberately because of the calibre of the defendants.

The Federal Government had in 1994 constituted the Pius Okigbo Panel, with a mandate to investigate the activities of the CBN and recommend measures for the re-organisation of the apex bank.

The suit filed before the High Court by six civil society groups led by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, was in line with the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

The coalition is asking the court to compel the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Attorney General of the Federation to publish the expenditure of the oil windfall which was realised two decades ago.

The judge adjourned the matter to November 29, making it the seventh successive adjournments, since hearing on the matter was concluded in October 2011.

Justice Kolawole had fixed the judgment for today, after all the parties re-adopted the processes they filed before the court on September 26.