From Joe Effiong, Uyo
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has challenged Governor Udom Emmanuel to clarify issues concerning the ownership of Globus Bank as well as the N4.2 billion judgment debt entered against the state government by a federal high court in Abuja over a contract signed by the Godswill Akpabio administration.
But the state government has responded that since the judgment is at appellate level, it would be subjudice to comment much on the fact of the case
The APC through its state publicity secretary, Nkereuwem Enyongekere, had in a press statement titled “Akwa Ibom State Government, Globus Bank and a Question of Integrity,” raised an alarm that N3.5 billion state government money has been withheld in Globus Bank, one of the bankers to the state government, pending the conclusion of garnishee proceedings initiated against the state over a N4.2billion judgment debt.
‘The garnishee proceedings were initiated by a financial management consultancy company, Bond Investments and Holdings Limited, in whose favour the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) gave the N4.2billion judgment on June 11, 2020.
‘Bond Investment had sued the Akwa Ibom State government, accusing the state of failing to meet its obligations concerning a contract agreement between them. In the suit, Bond stated that the state had engaged it to offer financial consultancy services to reconcile and recover excess deductions/charges on all the state’s foreign loan debt.
‘It stated that parties signed a consultancy agreement dated June 30, 2010, regarding the reconciliation and recovery of excess deductions/charges on all Akwa Ibom State’s foreign loan debt. Bond added that one of the terms of the consultancy agreement was that it (Bond) would be entitled to be paid 15 percent of any sum refunded to Akwa Ibom State based on its (Bond’s) reconciliation and recovery efforts.
‘It further stated that during the lifespan of the agreement, it reconciled and recovered $61,277,096.07 for the state from the Federal Government of Nigeria on the London Club debt. Bond stated that despite several demands, the Akwa Ibom State Government refused to pay it 15 percent of the recovered sum as agreed by parties in the consultancy agreement,’ the APC said.
The party then asked what the state government had done with the $61,277,096.07 equivalent of N30 billion and why the governor had been silent on such an extraordinary inflow into the government’s treasury.
‘What is the truth behind the ownership of Globus Bank? Is it true that the governor is a major investor in this new bank which is just three years old in the market? How could such a young Bank become the main banker to the Akwa Ibom State Government? How much did the governor invest in the Bank and what is the source of this investment?,’ the party asked.
But Ini Eemebong, State Commissioner for Information, in a counter press release said: ‘Last month, the State government was notified of a Garnishee Order nisi made by the High court of the Federal Capital Territory in a Garnishee Proceedings filed by Bond Investment Holdings Ltd against Akwa Ibom State.
‘The Learned Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uko Udom, SAN, immediately caused processes to be filed in court to oppose the grant of a Garnishee Order Absolute. The judgment of the court upon which the Garnishee Order nisi was made had since been appealed against and the appeal entered at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
‘The facts of this matter emanate from a contract entered by the Government of Akwa Ibom State in 2010. With this, issues have been joined in court and therefore, in-depth discussion of the case may be subjudice.
‘We can assure Akwa Ibom people that the Government will always act in the best interest of the state in all circumstances,’ the release said.