The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday ordered the Federal Government to pay $951 million being the 13 per cent derivative sum due as arrears of revenue and payable to the Bayelsa State government.
The state government had, through a suit by its counsel, Ken Njemanze (SAN), urged the court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), who was the sole defendant in the matter to pay five per cent of $50 billion recovered as additional revenue that accrued to the Nigerian government.
Delivering judgment on the in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/175/2012, and filed on February 12, 2021,the trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, held that the AGF failed to enter his defence in the suit, prompting the court to declare the plaintiff ’s case “unchanged.”
The court held that where a person issues a letter of demand on another person upon out- standing facts, the person for whom the demand notice was issued must take steps to react to same.
“Where the person to whom such demand notice is issued takes no steps, he is deemed to have admitted the claims thereby giving the other person the option of enforcing the claims by the available procedures for enforcement of undisputed claims. That is what has happened in this case,” the judge held.
The court noted that the defendant (AGF) had admitted the claims of the Bayelsa State government in the process the former filed in reaction to the suit. “I find no material upon which I can grant leave of this court for the defendant to enter a defence or transfer this matter to the general cause list ,” it said