By Muhammad Bello
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives has filed an originating summon at a Federal High Court, Abuja challenging the legal status of the excess crude oil account.
The suit, no.FHC/ABJ/CS/30/2014, was filed January 22 by legal counsel, Mr. Yemi Candide-Johnson (SAN), on behalf of the plaintiff: the House Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila; and others who asked the court for the proper interpretation of Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution.
Other plaintiffs are: House Minority Whip, Hon. Samson Osagie; Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Suleiman Kawu; Deputy Minority Whip, Garba Datti and Chairman, House Committee on Public Account, Hon. Solomon Adeola.
According to them, the creation and operation of Excess Crude Account by the federal government is contrary to provisions of Section 162 of the constitution, thus they request among others that the court declare the account unlawful and grant a perpetual injunction restraining the federal government from continuing to receive any or part of proceeds from sales of crude oil into the excess crude account.
A statement by an aide to Gbajabiamila on Research, Mr. Smart Olanrewaju, said the lawmakers further requested that the court should restrict the federal government from further funding, paying into, depositing into or maintaining the Excess Crude Account set up for the purposes of collecting, receiving and or depositing proceeds from the sale of crude oil above the oil price benchmark.
The APC lawmakers also sought that the court direct the government to forthwith transmit and transfer all monies domiciled in the Excess Crude Account into the Federation Account.