CUPP asks court to halt presidency’s $22.7b foreign loan request
CUPP asks court to halt presidency’s $22.7b foreign loan request
HURIWA flays S’East, Edo’s exclusion from facility

The Coalition of United Political Party (CUPP), through one of its members, Action Peoples Party (APP), yesterday sued the Federal Government and four others at the Federal High Court, Abuja over the $22.7 billion loan request granted President Muhammadu Buhari by the Senate.

The party, in the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/2020, dated March 16,2020 and filed same day by counsel to the APP, Chibuzor Ezike, the applicant is praying the court to set aside or nullify any approval for external loan borrowing made by the National Assembly.

The party, in the suit that has President Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Finance and the National Assembly as defendants, raised seven issues before the court for determination.

Some of the reliefs include a declaration that “it is unlawful and unconstitutional for the National Assembly to offer to undertake any guarantee for the requested external loan made by the president when the terms and conditions of the said loan have not been duly laid before, considered and approved by the National Assembly as mandatorily stipulated by the law.”

The plaintiff also asked the court to declare as unconstitutional, unlawful and ultra vires the executive powers of the president to borrow external loan and participate in the negotiation and acquisition of any external facility without proper legislative framework by the National Assembly.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.But the spokesman of CUPP, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, stated that he had written to all the lenders, advising them to halt the loan request in view of the pending legal action.

He said: “The loan request is riddled with project lopsidedness, lack of financial prudence, secrecy, plan to use loan for frivolous projects, over-costing of projects, corruption, misapplication and incompetence.

“The Senate leadership has clearly and unambiguously shown it is not on the side of the people and it is not representing the Nigerian people but their selfish interest. Their unpatriotic stand on national issues and lack of vision have become all the more apparent and have turned the Senate into a chamber filled by political ‘Allelluya’ boys.”

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described the exclusion of the South East and Edo State from the facility as ‘apartheid’ policy.

Addressing a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, the group’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the action was provocative, unconstitutional, primitive and discriminatory, adding that the proposal “is said to be a fallout of what has been described as the dirty politics that preceded the approval of the loan request which President Muhammadu Buhari presented twice to the National Assembly and eventually got approved by the Senator Ahmed Lawan-led ninth Senate.”

According to the organisation, the “policy of exclusion violates Section 42 of the Nigerian constitution.”

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