FG surrenders - Excess crude account suit and seeks out-of-court settlement


The Federal Government yesterday shifted grounds in the Excess CrudeAccount suit brought before the Supreme Court by the 36 states of the federation, questioning the legality of the Account and the decision to transfer $1 billion from it to the Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF).

 In a dramatic u-turn, government, which was hitherto playing hide and seek with the states over the issue pleaded the apex court for an adjournment to enable her reach an amicable out of court settlement with the states.
 Federal Government had earlier told the court that talks between the parties had collapsed and that she was ready to allow the apex court to enter a decision in the matter.
 The Supreme Court had earlier granted a request by the parties to settle the matter out of court and to explore an amicable resolution of the disagreement.
 But all these collapsed as the two combatants returned to the court for adjudication over the matter.

 The position of Federal Government yesterday saved the day, as the plaintiffs were ready for a showdown in court over the financial issue, even as they accused the central government of insincerity.

 Alhaji Yusuf Alli (SAN), who represented the states in court disclosed that his clients wanted the issue resolved once and for all.
 But counsel to the Federal Government, Austine Alegeh (SAN) pleaded with the court for a short adjournment to enable the parties hold further discussion and resolve the dispute.
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