PAPS Asks CBN to Obey Court Order on N37.4bn Promissory Notes

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• Zamfara govt writes CBN, demands compliance

The Patriots for the Advancement Of Peace and Social Development (PAPS) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to obey the orders of a Federal High Court, Abuja, restraining it from going ahead to process the N14.9billion promissory notes belonging to Zamfara State in favour of the United Bank for Africa (UBA).

Also, the Zamfara State Government through its counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN) has asked the apex bank to exercise administrative prerogative by halting the redemption of the said promissory note.

The patriots made the call in a statement by its Chairman, Dr Sani Shinkafi at the weekend, warning the CBN against going ahead to give effect to the first promissory note of N14.9 billion.

It, also, told the apex bank not to honour the promissory note, bearing in mind that there was a subsisting order of the federal court restraining it from giving effect to the said money.

The government had approved the cancellation of N37.4 billion promissory notes allegedly sold by the immediate past administration of former Governor Abdulazeez Yari in the state on the grounds that the process for the sale of promissory notes was not properly followed by the past administration.

The amount in question was a refund made to the state for the execution of federal roads by the immediate past administration in the state.

The court had on December 24, 2020 restrained CBN from acting upon or processing or further processing the N14.9 billion promissory note belonging to Zamfara State government in favour of the United Bank For Africa (UBA).

The trial judge, Justice Nkonye Maha had after hearing an ex-parte application brought by the Zamfara State government and argued by Ahmed Raji (SAN) ordered the CBN not to do anything to destroy the res of the case.

The judge had ruled thus: “After hearing Ahmed Raji, SAN Learned Senior Counsel to the applicant appearing with W.A. Adeniran moves in terms of the motion paper. And the court having taken into consideration the evidence before me, with the oral and written submissions of the Learned Senior Counsel to the plaintiff/applicant in this proceeding.

“And upon hearing that there are exceptional and compelling reasons to warrant the exercise of the court’s discretion in this proceedings and pursuant to Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and order 4(2); order 26 rules (1)(2)(3) (8) and order 56 rules (1)(2) of the court’s Civil Procedure Rules 2019. It is ordered that the ex-parte application dated 23rd, December 2020 but filed on December 24th, 2020 is granted in the following terms:
“That the prayer is granted as prayed.

“That an order of interim injunction is made restraining the 1st defendant (CBN) from acting upon, processing further any redemption in favour of the 2nd defendant (UBA), of the promissory note in FGN/PN/2018/SG/21 valued as N14,906.105.512.93 pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“That 1st defendant (CBN) in this suit is ordered not to do anything concerning the res of this case and therefore foist a fait accompli on the court.

“That the plaintiff/applicant is ordered to serve the defendants with the certified true copy of the enrolled orders of the court. The writ of summons and motion on notice seeking interlocutory orders of the court.

“That when served with the processes of the plaintiff, the defendants are ordered to file their replies to the highlighted processes.

“That hearing notices are to be issued and served on the defendants in this suit.”

The Zamfara State’s government letter to the CBN Governor read: “It has become very necessary at this time to write to you given the very delicate time which has led to the filing of the suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/1718/2020. A Promissory note with reference number FG/PN/2018/SG/21 valued at N14.960.105.512.93 is due to mature on December 28th, 2020 .

“Unfortunately the past administration in Zamfara State colluded with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to fraudulently discount the said Promissory note to the tune of N10.426.749.219.32. Apart from the fraudulent discount of the repatriated sum of N10.426.749.219.3 was diverted into other accounts which do not belong to the Zamfara State Government. In summation the UBA colluded with the past administration of Zamfara State Government not only to fraudulently discount the promissory note but to also remove what is left from the coffers of the State government.

“The present administration has lodged complaints with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and relevant stakeholders, including the UBA. Presently, police investigation is yet to be completed and time is of essence, because the Promissory Note is due for redemption on December 28th, 2020. The instant suit has been filed and a copy which had been attached alongside the motion on notice of injunction. We respectfully urge in the interim to exercise administrative prerogative by halting the redemption of the said Promissory note.”