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Federal and State Governments Fail to Reach Settlement on Sovereign Fund

By on May 22, 2012

The Supreme Court has fixed September 25th as the day for the definitive hearing on the suit brought before it by the State governors challenging the legality of the Sovereign Wealth Fund account and the Excess Crude Account.

The legal teams for both parties traded blame at the court over which side was responsible for the collapse of the settlement talks. The State governors through their counsel Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN)told the court that the Federal Government had continued deducting money from the Excess Crude Account despite the fact that the suit was before them. In response, the lawyer representing the FG, Mr. Austin Alegeh (SAN) said the FG made the deductions at the behest of the states.

The plaintiff’s counsel also told the court that the Attorney General had not allowed the settlement talks to succeed by not making time to discuss the terms of settlement presented to him.

The plaintiffs prayed the court to provide a restraining order to prevent the FG from making subsequent deductions from the ECA until the suit is settled.

In response lawyer for the defendant, Alegeh said, “This court has no jurisdiction because the case is between the federal government and the other two tiers of government. The best court to hear the matter is the federal high court.”

He added, “Governors should make an undertaking not to demand for withdrawal from the excess crude account to share any time there is short fall in the allocation before the next adjourned date of September 25.”