Opposition Parties Sue FG, Four Others over $22.7bn Loan Request

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Alex Enumah and Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), acting through one of the registered political parties, Action Peoples Party ( APP), yesterday filed a suit against the federal government and four others before a Federal High Court in Abuja, over the proposed borrowing of the sum of $22.7billion.

In the suit dated March 16, 2020 and filed on behalf of the APP by its lawyer, Mr. Chibuzor Ezike, the party is praying the court to set aside or nullify any approval for external loan borrowing made by the National Assembly.

The party in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/2020 raised seven issues before the court for determination.

Apart from the federal government, other defendants in the matter are: President Muhammadu Buhari; Attorney-General of the Federation; and the Minister of Finance and the National Assembly.

The party also sought for 10 reliefs in the suit.

Part of the reliefs are: “A declaration that it is unlawful and unconstitutional for the National Assembly to offer to undertake any guarantee for the requested external loans made by the President when the terms and conditions of the said loan has not been duly laid before, considered and approved by the National Assembly as mandatorily stipulated by the law”.

The parties also also asked the court to declare as “unconstitutional, unlawful and ultra vires the executive powers of the President to borrow external loans or participate in the negotiation and acquisition of any external loan without the proper legislative framework and approval of the National Assembly in an openly debated, considered and deliberated session of the parliament, where the details of such external borrowing, project financing and projected repayment modalities will be openly debated and considered by the legislature.

No date however has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Meanwhile, the CUPP has called on the House of Representatives to reject President Buhari’s $22.7 billion external borrowing request, describing the loan move as a plan to sell Nigeria into economic slavery and financial colonialism.

It would be recalled that the deliberation on the loan request was stepped down by the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila at the plenary last week.

CUPP’s Spokesperson, Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere at a press conference in Abuja yesterday stressed that the loan request is riddled with project lopsidedness, lack of financial prudence and over costing of projects.