21 March 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – A Federal High Court in Abuja, Wednesday, fixed April 27 to deliver judgment in a suit seeking to compel the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to disclose how the $12.4 billion oil windfall money that accrued to the Federal Government between 1988 and 1994, was spent.
The suit was filed before the High Court by six civil society groups led by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.
Though the judgment has been stalled since last year when hearing was concluded on the matter, however, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, today, ordered all the parties to appear on the next adjourned date to re-adopt their processes to enable him to give verdict on the case.
Specifically, the plaintiffs beseeched the court for “an order of mandamus compelling the respondents, individually and/or collectively, to publish detailed statement of account relating to the spending of $12.4 billion oil windfall between 1988 and 1994, and to publish in major national newspapers a copy of the statement of account.”
It would be recalled that in 1994, the Federal Government constituted the Pius Okigbo Panel with a mandate to investigate the activities of the CBN and recommend measures for the re-organization of the apex bank.
In the course of its assignment, the Okigbo Panel reportedly uncovered that about $12.4 billion that was reserved in the ‘Dedicated and Special Accounts’, was depleted to $200 million by June 1994.
Consequent upon the alleged mismanagement of the said $12.4 billion by the then military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, the investigative Panel, recommended an immediate discontinuance of the said ‘Dedicated and Special Accounts’.
In their suit however, the plaintiffs further pleaded the court to order the respondents to not only prosecute anyone indicted by the report, but to also recoup the money from them and return same to the national treasury