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Absence of Judge Stalls Delta State’s Effort to Vacate Order Freezing Paris Club Refund Account


An ex-parte application brought by the Delta State Government to vacate an earlier order freezing its Paris-Club bank account was Thursday stalled as Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court did not sit.
It could be recalled that an FCT High Court froze the account on alleged failure of the state government to pay consultancy fees to Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd.
The state government reportedly owes Mauritz Walton Nigeria Ltd, the sum of $27,274,135 and N3bn for facilitating the refund of excess deductions made from its monthly allocations for servicing the Paris Club foreign loan.
The court had ordered Zenith Bank to set up an escrow account for the frozen fund pending the determination of the Motion on Notice. Zenith Bank is a co-defendant in the suit.
The court bared the state government from accessing the $27.2m and N3bn in the said account.
Mauritz Walton Nig Ltd, claimed that the frozen sum is what was due to it as consultancy fee from the money the state received as “proceeds of the refund of excess deductions on foreign loans and miscellaneous charges (aka Paris-London Club Refund).”
Mauritz Walton Nig Ltd said going by their contract with the Delta State Government, the company was entitled to 30 per cent of the total sum received by the state government.
Mauritz Walton Nig Ltd is said to have assisted some state governments in computing and negotiating the refund of the excess deductions on the foreign loans.
However, in reaction to the order freezing the Paris-Club bank account, counsel to Delta state government, Alex Izonyi (SAN), approached the court to vacate its ex-parte order.
He also urged the court to accelerate the process in the interest of the public.
The matter has been adjourned till August 15 for hearing.

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