The Federal High Court in Kano on Tuesday fixed March 16 for the continuation of hearing in a suit seeking an order stopping the Kano State Government from borrowing N300 billion from China for a light rail project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suit was filed by the Centre for Awareness on Justice and Accountability (CAJA) and Kabiru Dakata.
Those joined as respondents in the suit are the Kano State Government, Senate President, Kano State House of Assembly, Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Finance, Debt Management Office, China EXIM Bank and China Embassy.
The plaintiffs had on December 4 applied for an interim injunction restraining the respondents from taking further action about the loan.
But the judge, Sa’adatu Ibrahim-Mark, who declined to issue the order, directed that the respondents be put on notice and appear in court to show cause why the applicants’ prayers for an interim injunction should not be granted.
On Tuesday, plaintiffs’ counsel, Bashir Yusuf, told the court that all the parties in the suit were duly served with all the necessary documents.
Mr Yusuf urged the court to adjourn the matter, adding that some applications made by the respondents had yet to be served on him.
Responding, the respondents’ counsel, Marcelliinus Duru, said he had filed a counter-affidavit on January 26, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear and determine the suit.
“The court lacks the jurisdiction to determine the subject of this suit under any guise whatsoever,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Northern Patriotic Fund and Ibrahim Ali, Lukman Abdallah, sought to be joined in the suit as respondents.
Their application was filed on January 28.
The applicants said they sought to be joined in the suit because the light rail project would be of benefit to the people of the state and non-indigenes of Kano State.
The judge, Ms Ibrahim-Mark, adjourned the matter till March 16.
The plaintiffs, among other prayers, urged the court to hold that the state government, having allegedly failed to follow due process, does not have the power or authority to obtain the N300 billion loan from China Exim Bank for the construction of light rail.
The plaintiffs stated, “As a matter of fact all these procedures of external borrowing have not been complied with by the first respondent.
”The revenue of Kano State Government as of 2019 stands at not more than N40.6 billion and the external loan requested by the first respondent is about N300 billion.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...