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Emefiele faces arrest for a $53 million judgement debt, according to the court.

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Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was threatened with an arrest warrant on Wednesday by a Federal High Court in Abuja for failing to appear in court to explain the circumstances surrounding the 53 million dollar judgment debt arising from the Paris Club refund.

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Justice Inyang Ekwo, who adjourned the case and summoned Emefiele to appear on the new date, said he intended to be lenient in order to allow the former CBN head a chance to explain his actions.

This occurred after Emefiele’s attorney, Audu Anuga, SAN, intervened and asked for another chance for his client to appear in court after the last injunction requiring him to do so had expired without him obeying it.

Anuga informed the court that CBN governor Emefiele, who had been suspended, had been detained.

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He said the court’s attempts to contact him with its order were fruitless.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on October 20, 2022, Justice Ekwo issued an order compelling the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to appear in court on January 18 in connection with a judgment debt owed to attorney Joe Agi, SAN.

Agi, the judgment creditor, has filed an application for garnishee against the judgment debtors Linas International Ltd, the Minister of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Emefiele.

The case was originally set to begin on January 18, but it had to be postponed until March 20 due to unforeseen circumstances. It was then rescheduled for June 6 of this year.

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According to NAN, on June 6, the judge issued an appearance warrant for Emefiele, setting his court date for today, July 19.

However, President Bola Tinubu suspended the CBN Governor on June 9 and instructed him to hand over his duties to the Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate.

The Department of State Services (DSS) announced Emefiele’s arrest and incarceration on June 10 after he had been suspended the day before.

On Wednesday, when the hearing started, Agi’s attorney, Ayodele Arotiowa, was about to make a contribution when Justice Ekwo asked Emefiele’s attorney if he had followed the order.

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We tried to figure out how to get in touch with Emefiele, the fourth respondent, but CBN, the third respondent, was unable to reach her.

“We rely only on public communication that the 4th respondent is incarcerated and have been unable to communicate with him,” Anuga said.

He added that the situation regarding Emefiele’s authority to represent the CBN had changed.

The judge ruled that the CBN was not at fault and that Emefiele was being sued in his individual capacity.

But now the word out there is that he’s been suspended,” Anuga stated. It’s imperative that he be given a chance to cooperate.

The judge told Anuga, “I have given you enough opportunity but you are taking it for granted,” before ordering the issuance of an arrest warrant for Emefiele.

The senior attorney stated they were powerless to help their client, who was still being held in prison after his suspension, despite a court order requiring his release.

We are at the court’s mercy, my lord,” he added.

However, there is something in the way, as we have not yet had the honor of meeting him.

The fourth respondent has not been informed of the last chance my lord provided him.

‘I think the chance should be given so that this can be conveyed,’ he said.

But Anuga insisted that the court would act if Emefiele still didn’t cooperate after this final chance.

The judge has therefore given the CBN and Emefiele till October 31 to present their arguments against issuing an arrest warrant for the ex-CBN governor.

After hearing arguments from both sides’ attorneys, he said, “Upon listening to counsel, I am minded to exercise restraint in this proceeding to give the 4th respondent an opportunity to explain himself to me on the next adjourned date.”

According to NAN, the disagreement began when the lawyer (Joe Agi) claimed to have won a $70 million judgment against Linas International Ltd for his work on the Paris Club reimbursement.

It was reported that Emefiele had only issued $17 million, leaving a $53 million deficiency.

The court ordered Emefiele to appear “to be examined on oath” on January 23, 2020.

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