The government of Akwa Ibom State says it has appealed the Garnishee Order nisi in the case filed by Bond Investment Holdings Limited at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory against It.
The state commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr. Ini Ememobong, in a statement on Monday in Uyo said that the state Commissioner of Justice, Uko Udom (SAN), has filed a suit in the court of Appeal, Abuja, to oppose the grant of the Garnishee Order Absolute.
The statement is titled, ‘Bond Investment Holdings Limited Vs. AKSG: the Ruling and other matters.’
It said that with the joining of the issues in court, in-depth discussion on the case may be subjudice.
The statement reads in part, “Last month, the state government was notified of a Garnishee Order nisi made by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in a Garnishee Proceedings filed by Bond Investment Holdings Ltd against Akwa Ibom State.
“The Learned Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uko Udom, SAN, immediately caused processes to be filed in court to oppose the grant of a Garnishee Order Absolute.
“The judgment of the court upon which the Garnishee Order nisi was made had since been appealed against and the appeal entered at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
“The facts of this matter emanate from a contract entered by the Government of Akwa Ibom State in 2010.
“With this, issues have been joined in court and therefore, in-depth discussion of the case may be subjudice.
“We can assure Akwa Ibom people that the government will always act in the best interest of the state in all circumstances.”
However, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress had, in a statement last week, demanded for an explanation as to why the state is “mired in this scandal-prone act with Bond Investment.”
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Nkereuwem Enyongekere, and titled, “Akwa Ibom Government, Globus Bank and a Question of Integrity,” the party alleged that Globus Bank, one of the bankers to the state government, had agreed to withhold a whopping N3,500,000,000 (N3.5bn) held in the state’s account, pending the conclusion of Garnishee proceedings initiated by Bond Investment Limited against the state over a N4.2bn judgement debt.
The statement reads in part, “APC has received a damaging report on the financial transaction involving a company known as Bond Investment and Holdings Limited, Akwa Ibom State Government and Globus Bank, a Bank in which Governor Udom Emmanuel is said to have huge and controlling shareholding interests.
A Governor’s Alleged Stake
“It is important for Governor Udom Emmanuel to come clean with Akwa Ibom people on his stakes in this bank and the relationship between the government and Bond Holdings and Investment Limited.
“The governor should also explain to Akwa Ibom people why the state has been mired in this scandal-prone act with Bond Investment.
“What we know, which has already been reported in the media, is that Globus Bank Limited, one of the bankers to Akwa Ibom State Government, has agreed to withhold N3, 500,000,000 held in the state’s account, pending the conclusion of garnishee proceedings initiated against the state over a N4.2bn judgment debt.
“The garnishee proceedings were initiated by a financial management consultancy company, Bond Investments and Holdings Limited, in whose favour the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory gave the N4.2bn judgment on June 11, 2020.
“Bond Investment had sued Akwa Ibom State Government, accusing the state of failing to meet its obligations concerning a contract agreement between them. In the suit, Bond stated that the state had engaged it to offer financial consultancy services to reconcile and recover excess deductions/charges on all the state’s foreign loan debt.
“It stated that parties signed a consultancy agreement dated June 30, 2010, regarding the reconciliation and recovery of excess deductions/charges on all Akwa Ibom State’s foreign loan debt.
“Bond added that one of the terms of the consultancy agreement was that it (Bond) would be entitled to be paid 15 percent of any sum refunded to Akwa Ibom State based on its (Bond’s) reconciliation and recovery efforts
“It further stated that during the lifespan of the agreement, it reconciled and recovered $61,277,096.07 for the state from the Federal Government of Nigeria on the London Club debt. Bond stated that despite several demands, the Akwa Ibom State Government refused to pay it 15 per cent of the recovered sum as agreed by parties in the consultancy agreement. In the June 11, 2020 judgment, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi agreed with the plaintiff’s lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN)”
“This is yet another very embarrassing financial scandal involving the Udom Emmanuel administration, and Akwa Ibom State Chapter of APC is appalled that the governor has kept Akwa Ibom people in the dark over this matter for this long”