Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been given a deadline of January 25, 2024, to appear in court and explain the circumstances surrounding a $53 million-judgment debt from the Paris Club refund.
The Federal High Court in Abuja granted Emefiele another opportunity to attend the court session in person, or an arrest warrant will be issued against him.
Emefiele’s counsel, Audu Anuga, SAN, informed the court that efforts to ensure his client’s presence had been unsuccessful as he was currently in custody.
An affidavit was filed on October 30, stating reasons why an arrest warrant should not be issued against Emefiele.
To further clarify the situation, Justice Inyang Ekwo asked the attorney representing the judgment creditor/applicant, Mr Joe Agi, SAN, if he had received the affidavit.
Nnana responded that they were served on Monday, almost at the close of work and that they would like to react.
The judge, who cautioned Anuga against late filing of processes, reminded that the matter came up on July 19.
The senior lawyer, however, explained that all efforts were made until Friday (October 27) to ensure that Emefiele was released on order of the court but the order was not complied with, which necessitated the filing of the affidavit.
Anuga, however, told the court that since parties had been exploring settlement before and the CBN had a new governor, they should be allowed to explore settlement option.
But Justice Ekwo insisted that Emefiele must appear on the next adjourned day.
“As for the 4th respondent (Emefiele), I have always said, contempt proceedings follow a person whether the person Is still there or not.
“In this case, I have given this particular person so much liberty, so much leniency and the situation does not seem to change.
“I will adjourn the matter because the other side says they want to react to the process so there is no much talk.
“Order of court must be complied with and even if no one complies with the order of the court, the court must comply with its order.
“I will give you sufficient time,” he said.
The judge, consequently, adjourned the matter until January 25, 2024, for Emefiele to show cause why an arrest warrant should not be issued against him.