By Ameh Ochojila
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, refused to vacate a restraining order issued against the Federal Government stopping the bid to deduct $418 million Paris Club Refund from bank accounts of the 36 states of the federation.
The judge held that the order would subsist until the motion for interlocutory injunction filed by the states against the Federal Government is determined.
Drama ensued when the judge was about to adjourn the matter as some of the defendants made desperate efforts to argue their motions, praying the court to discharge the restraining order granted in favour of the states against the deduction of money by the Federal Government.
Counsel to two of the defendants, Wole Olanipekun and Olusola Oke, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, battled spiritedly through oral applications for the court to discharge the order.
They argued that the restraining order ought to last for 14 days and that it should be deemed as expired and no longer in existence.
However, counsel to the states, Jibrin Okutepa, read out the order in the open court and submitted that until the motion for interlocutory injunction is settled, the interim order shall be in force and binding on all parties.
Ekwo, however, counseled parties on the matter to tread softly, saying the matter will be diligently determined.
He fixed December 13 for the continuation of the hearing.