Contempt Charge Slammed On CBN Governor Over N182 Billion Ogoni Claims

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From Ameachi Prosper (The New Diplomat’s Delta Correspondent)

A contempt charge has been instituted against the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele over his alleged refusal to order the payment of N182 billion to Ogoni people in Rivers State.

The N182 billion was awarded against oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company over the oil spillage experienced by the Ogoni people as a result of the activities of the company.

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The plaintiffs represented by Lucious Nwosu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), filed the contempt charge urging the Federal High Court in Abuja to commit the CBN governor to prison for allegedly disregarding an order of court that awarded the money to the aggrieved Ogoni people.

At the hearing of the suit, on Wednesday, counsel to the Ogoni people expressed displeasure over the absence of the CBN governor.

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He reiterated that the charge against Emefiele was semi criminal in nature and warranted his physical presence in court.

But, the lawyer to the CBN governor, Damian Dodo however informed the court that it was not the habit of his client to underrate any court of law and assured that Emefiele will do the needful at the appropriate time.

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The counsel representing Shell Petroleum Development Company, Olawale Akoni informed the court that he had filed a motion praying the court to dismiss the contempt charge or in the alternative to stay proceedings after taking arguments.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo while adjourning the matter till January 26, 2021 directed the CBN governor and other parties to obey court orders.

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