Lawyer drags Buhari, others to court over new $29.96bn loan

January 6, 2020
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A human right lawyer, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola has instituted a legal action against President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the National Assembly over a new $29.96bn loan proposal.

Barrister Ajibola in an action filed before the Federal High Court, Osogbo against the respondents including the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) said they were not acting in the interest of Nigeria.

AJibila argued that instead of developing the available resources in the country, they were seeking procurement of destructive loan.

The former Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilesa branch, in a 58 paragraph affidavit in support of his motion ex-parte disclosed that he had on the 16th day of December 2019, written letters to the defendants requesting for some vital information but they failed to respond within the constitutionally stipulated time.

Some of the information demanded include details of Nigeria’s local and foreign debt profiles and the defrayment modalities, the list of all the FG projects being executed from the loans taken from 2015 to date, the financial cost of all executed projects from 2015 and the total sum of money recovered so far from the Late General Sani Abacha’s loot, if spent and what it was spent on.

Ajibola told the court that he requested the information to enable him take a step to rescue Nigeria, saying the Federal Government under the leadership of the respondents has failed Nigerians.

According to him, with the new foreign loan procurement, he discovered that the respondents wanted to perpetually entrap Nigeria in a debt gulag and that they are planning to take the loan without putting in place an effective all-encompassing corruption check mechanism.

He blamed President Buhari for putting Nigeria’s economy into trouble by “placing himself above the law by freely disobeying court orders at will” which made foreign investors flee the country in drove.

He further told the court that, “In 2016, the president presented a projected proposal for foreign loan for 2016 to 2018 in the sum of $29.96 billion to the Eight Senate for approval as required by the law, but the National Assembly rejected the proposal because it saw it as debt colonization by the would-be creditor banks, and it is capable of ‘sinking Nigeria into the dark gully of perpetual debt trap.’

“On November 28, 2019, the president has represented the projected proposal for a foreign loan in the sum of $29.96billion to the National Assembly that is the ninth senate, for approval as required by the law and has now agreed to approve the proposed loan.

“As at the time of this suit, only the senate arm of the National Assembly has been working on the approval of a loan without the involvement of the House of Representatives”

Ajibola expressed worry that both the President and that National Assembly swore to provide good governance, but contrary to the oaths of office of the respondents, “they are not faithful to the said oaths”

He disclosed that he was working with some economic team, for the purpose of assisting the FG to enable it finance its budgets from the internally generated revenue rather than foreign and local loans.

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