Law News
Court Dismisses Gbajabiamila, Others’ Suit on Excess Crude Account
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Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and four other members of the House, challenging the legality of the creation of the Excess Crude Account by the federal government.
Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati, in a judgment on Tuesday, held that the suit was an abuse of court process.
He said about five similar suits were currently pending before the Supreme Court.

The judge upheld the defendants’ objection, noting that the Attorneys-General of Taraba, Abia, Niger, Bauchi and Oyo States had filed similar suits, which are now awaiting the determination of the Supreme Court.

As against the argument by the defendants, Justice Abdulkafarati held that the plaintiffs had the locus standi to institute the case.

He held that the suit, being a public interest case, could have been instituted by any Nigerian. The defendants had queried the plaintiffs’ locus standi (the right to file the suit).

The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/30/2014 was filed by Gbajabiamila, Samson Osagie, Ismaila Kawu, Garuba Datti and Chairman of the House of Reps’ Public Accounts Committee, Solomon Adeola. It had President Goodluck Jonathan and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as defendants.

The plaintiffs had, in their originating summons filed on January 22 this year, challenged the federal government’s creation of a separate account, outside the Federation Account, for the country’s excess oil revenue earning.

They argued that the creation of the Excess Crude Account was a violation of the provision of Section 162(1) of the Constitution.

Section 162(1) states: “The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the government of the federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for foreign affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

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