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Court fixes March 16 for suit seeking to stop Kano govt from taking N300bn loan

By Ramatu Garba [NAN]

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano on Tuesday fixed March 16 for continuation of hearing in an application filed by Centre for Awareness on Justice and Accountability (CAJA), seeking for an order stopping the Kano State Government from borrowing N300 billion from China for a light rail project.

NAN reports that the interim injunction suit filed by Center for Awareness on Justice and Accountability (CAJA) and Kabiru Saidu Dakata, challenging the state government from obtaining the loan from China.

The respondents in the suit are the Kano State Government, Senate President, Kano State House of Assembly, Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Finance, Debt Management Office, China EXIM Bank and China Embassy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had on Dec.4, ordered the respondents in the suit to be put on notice to show cause why the applicants’ prayers for an interim injunction should not be granted

When the case came up for hearing, counsel to the Plaintiffs, Bashir Yusuf, told the court that all the parties in the suit were duly served with all the necessary documents.

Yusuf urged the court to adjourn the matter, adding that some applications made by the respondents had yet to be served to them.

Responding, counsel to the respondents, Mr. Marcelliinus Duru, filed a motion and counter affidavit dated and filed Jan. 26, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear and determine the suit.

“The court lacks the jurisdiction to determine the subject of this suit under any guise whatsoever.

Earlier, counsel to In cooperated Trustees of Northern Patriotic Fund and Mr Ibrahim Ali, Lukman Abdallah, sought to be joined in the suit as respondent.

Abdallah filed a joiner application dated Jan.28, in respect of joining the suit, adding that the organisation is based in Northern Nigeria and Ali is also an indigene of Kano state.

“The interest to join the suit is based on the outcome of the judgment which may affect him directly or indirectly.

” If you look at the light rail project, it will benefit the people of the state and even non indigenous of Kano state. We are hoping to be joined in the suit”

Justice Sa’adatu Ibrahim-Mark, adjourned the matter until March 16, for ruling and continuation of hearing.

NAN reports that the plaintiffs in their prayers, sought the court to interpret whether the state government has the power or authority for their failure to follow due process to obtain N300 billion loan from China Exim Bank for the issue of light rail.

“As a matter of fact, all these procedures of external borrowing have not been complied with by the first respondent.

” The revenue of Kano government as at 2019 stands at not more than N40.6 billion and the eternal loan requested by the first respondent is about N300 billion”

The Plaintiffs further prayed that the court to interpret the section that says all states in Nigeria must ensure that their total loans do not exceed 250 per cent of their revenue of the preceding year. (NAN)

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