In order to compel the Federal Government to retrieve about $66.5bn recoverable revenues, royalties and levies from some public and private bodies as well as some individuals, popular Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has issued a notice to sue the government.
Falana, in a letter dated February 12, 2016, which was addressed to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, threatened to file the suit against the Federal Government not later than February 29.
He said his planned suit was necessitated by the minister’s failure to respond to the “serious issues” which he raised in his earlier letter discouraging the Federal Government to go ahead with its plan to obtain $3.5bn loan from the World Bank and the African Development Bank but to instead recoup the recoverable $66.5bn.
His fresh letter issuing the notice of legal proceedings was entitled:
‘Re: Federal Government’s plan to seek $3.5bn emergency loan from World Bank and African Development Bank should be dropped.’
And it reads:
Our letter dated February 5, 2016 in respect of the above subject matter refers.
Since you have not deemed it fit to react to the serious issues raised in the letter, kindly be informed that we shall commence legal proceedings not later than February 29, 2015 with a view to compelling the Federal Government to recover the said loans, royalties levies and other recoverable revenues of not less than $66.5bn.
The lawyer urged the Federal Government to drop its proposition to obtain the foreign loan, noting that it required the endorsement of the International Monetary Fund, which he said, usually imposes stringent conditions on borrowing countries.
He lamented that the debt profile of the country had now grown to $64bn after it took much effort in 2005 for the country to exit the London/Paris Club after struggling to repay a loan of $12.4bn.
Falana therefore urged the Federal Government to make efforts to recover the over $66.5bn accruable to it, rather than obtain loan to finance the 2016 budget.