By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
The Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele is expected Tuesday, January 26 appear before a federal high court in Abuja to face a contempt change over his alleged refusal to order payment of N182 billion awarded to Ogoni people for oil spillage on their land.
The contempt charge was filed against Emefiele for CBN’s refusal to honour payment of N182 billion naira compensation to Ogoni people as ordered by a law court. The CBN is authorised under the law to approve payment of such huge payments.
The amount was awarded against oil giant, Shell Petroleum Company over the devastating oil spillage caused the Ogoni communities and their farmland by the company.
Ogonl people represented by Chief Lucious Nwosu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, filed the contempt charge praying the federal high court in Abuja to commit the CBN governor to prison for allegedly disregarding order of court that awarded the money to the aggrieved Ogoni people.
When the matter came up at the last adjourned date, the Ogoni people through their lawyer had expressed disgust over the absence of the CBN governor in court .
The senior counsel complained to Justice Taiwo Oladipupo Taiwo that the charge against Emefiele is quasi -criminal in nature and warranted his physical presence in court to answer the charge.
However, Mr Damian Dodo SAN, who stood as counsel to Emefiele, informed the court that it was not the habit of his client to underrate and undermine the court of law and assured that Emefiele will do the needful at the appointed date to show his regard to the authority of court.
Shelll Petroleum Company has however filed a motion in the court praying the Judge to dismiss the contempt charge against Emefiele or in the alternative to stay proceedings.
The motion was filed on its behalf by Mr Olawale Akoni SAN even though Shell Petroleum Company is not a defendant in the contempt charge.
After taking arguments, Justice Taiwo directed the CBN governor and other parties tin the matter to obey the court, adding “this court expects Emefiele to obey the court on the adjourned date.”