The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its governor, Godwin Emefiele, have retained a former Attorney-Attorney-General of the Federation, Mike Aondoakaa (SAN) to lead the legal team of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) in the defence of the suit against him and the bank.
The suit borders on Emefiele’s incompetence in office, and harassment of the #EndSARS protesters.
An Abuja-based activist, Sesugh Akume, had filed a suit before a Federal High Court in the nation’s capital, asking it to determine whether or not Emefiele, had not been grossly incompetent by failing to provide price control, a strong Naira and a stable exchange rate.
Akume also asked the court to stop Emefiele and the CBN from further lending to the Nigerian government until the trillions of Naira allegedly owed are refunded in full.
He also wants the court to also compel the CBN never to lend beyond the prescribed 5% of the previous year’s revenues.
The activist said the apex bank under Emefiele had been engaged in the illegality of lending to the Nigerian government more than the prescribed 5% of the revenues of the previous year.
SaharaReporters gathered that Aondoakaa was briefed by the CBN to represent the apex bank in the matter.
Akume in a statement on Saturday said the senior lawyer had been retained to lead others in the matter before the court.
The case would be heard on Tuesday, November 9.
He said, “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, have retained former Attorney-Attorney-General of the Federation, Mike Aondoakaa, SAN to lead the legal team of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and other counsel in the matter of _Sesugh Akume v CBN_ (FHC/ABJ/CS/1051/2021).
“It would be recalled, in that matter, I ask the court to declare both the CBN and governor, Mr Emefiele, incompetent for failing their number one job which is price control, as they have rather caused the skyrocketing of prices in the market through their bad polices and incompetence.
“To declare that they (as well as other public institutions and officers) can be held liable for their incompetence especially when it negatively affects the public; to declare illegal their lending above 5% the previous year revenues of the country to the federal government, and doing so even when past loans are not repaid (leading to the country owing CBN alone N15.51 trillion) all of which affect the country adversely; and to stop them from further doing so, among other things.
“Former AG Aondoakaa SAN, and the legal team, entered appearance as defence counsel to CBN and Emefiele, and have filed their defence. The matter commences at the Federal High Court, Abuja before Justice A R Mohammed (Court 4) on Tuesday 9 November 2021, from 9am.”
Aondoakaa is not new to controversies – during his time as Nigeria’s AGF and Minister of Justice, he showed a high disregard for the law of the country.
He got into trouble in 2010 when the Legal Privileges Committee in 2010 suspended him from using the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria for two years following a petition by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and a ruling by a Calabar Federal High Court on June 1, 2010, that he was unfit to hold the office of the Attorney-General or any public office in Nigeria.
Aondoakaa was also notorious for his brash support of the government and his defence of corrupt former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
As Nigeria’s AGF, he did everything to block the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from prosecuting Ibori and other corrupt officials.
He also declined the request by the London Metropolitan Police to allow officials of the EFCC to stand as prosecuting witness against Ibori.
The 58-year-old was in 2010 barred from entering the United States over links to massive corruption during his two and half years in office.