CBN Governor Charged With Contempt Over N182b Judgement Debt
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has been instituted with a contempt charge for allegedly refusing to sanction a N182 billion payment to the people of Ogoni community.
The said sum was money awarded against Shell petroleum for the oil spillages caused by the oil exploration company on the Ogoni land.
The Ogoni people subsequently filed the contempt charge through their advocate, Lucious Nwosu (SAN).
They prayed the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to commit (send to prison) the CBN Governor for supposedly flouting the court order which fined Shell in favour of the community.
When the case was brought up on Tuesday, Nwosu, counsel to the Ogoni people, was irritated at the Governor’s absence from court proceedings.
The plaintiff’s counsel reminded Justice Taiwo Taiwo that the charge brought against the CBN Governor semi-criminal and as such demanded his presence in the court room.
The defence counsel, Damian Dodo (SAN), however addressed the court, saying that his client was not in the habit of undermining the court of law.
Emefiele’s lawyer moved to assure the court that his client will henceforth make himself available to the court in subsequent hearings.
In related happenings, Shell Petroleum Limited, informed the court, through its representative, Olawale Skoni (SAN), that they had filed a court motion, praying the court to dismiss the charge of contempt or, stay court proceedings instead after taking arguments.
Judge Taiwo Taiwo subsequently adjourned the matter till the 27th of January, 2021.
The Judge issued a directive to the CBN Governor and other parties concerned to obey the court before the next adjourned date.
It will be recalled that The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) started operations in Ogoni land in Rivers State in 1958,
Since then, oil spillages have been recorded, with Shell accepting the responsibility for the oil spills of Bodo in 2008 and 2009 after the Ogoni people filed a court case in the United Kingdom against the company.