Friday, 23 November 2012

Excess Crude Account: FG, States fail to reach settlement

The dispute between the Federal Government and the 36 states of the federation over the management of the revenue accruing to the federation keeps lingering as the states has asked the Supreme Court to go ahead on adjudicating on the suit challenging the operation of the Excess Crude Account (ECA). The states told the court that they had lost confidence in the ability of the Federal Government to reach an out-of-court settlement with them on the dispute and it should proceed with definite hearing of the case.
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), who represented the states, told the court that his clients wanted the case decided on merit since the parties had not been able to come up with amicable settlement terms. Awomolo insisted that the matter before the court was a constitutional one and not political. He prayed the court to hear and give a definite pronouncement on the suit, which has been pending since 2008.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court fixed May 9, 2013 for reports of settlement. It also ordered the parties to make sure that all processes were filed before that day.
The 36 states of the federation had sued the Federal Government over plans to transfer $1 billion from the ECA to a new account known as the Sovereign Wealth Fund. But the Federal Government sought to settle the matter out of court. Based on the application, the Supreme Court afforded the parties the opportunity to settle the matter and report back with the report of settlement. This, the parties had failed to achieve.

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