N150bn bridging finance: Court strikes out suit challenging Delta govt

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A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, weekend, struck out the suit filed by one Prince Efe Henry Duku, challenging the state government’s N150 billion ‘bridging finance facility’ as approved by the Delta State House of Assembly.

The claimant had sued the Governor of Delta State, Delta State House of Assembly, Attorney-General of Delta State, Zenith Bank Plc, Minister of Finance, Debt Management Bureau and the Attorney-General of the Federation over the loan facility.

Both the Attorney-General of the state, Isaiah Bozimo, and counsel to the state House of Assembly, Ekeme Ohwovoriole, SAN, filed separate preliminary objections challenging the competence of the suit on grounds that the claimant lacked the requisite locus standi to institute the suit and that there was no reasonable cause of action disclosed in the matter.

The trial judge, Justice Folashade Olubanjo, in her ruling upheld the preliminary objections.

The court held that the claimant in his statement of claim did not disclose any wrongful act done by the state government and any damage suffered by him to warrant the filing of the suit.

It ruled that the claimant lacked locus standi to institute the suit before the court.

The court also held that no reasonable cause of action was disclosed in the claimant’s statement of claim.

The suit was accordingly struck out and cost of N500,000 each was awarded to the governor of Delta State and the Delta State House of Assembly.

Speaking to newsmen after the ruling was delivered, the state Attorney-General said he was pleased with the ruling, which upheld the objections raised by the state government.

Also reacting to the ruling, counsel to Zenith Bank Plc., Felix Eseni, who expressed satisfaction with the ruling, stated that it was not enough for a claimant to just file a case without indicating his interest in the matter.

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