CBN has powers to grant loans, allow repayment via securitisation, court rules

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Justus Edim against the President of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Debt Management Office.

The lawsuit challenged the securitization of loans granted to the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the Ways & Means program.

Justice Omotosho, who presided over the case, upheld the argument made by Mr. Kofo Abdusalam Alada, the CBN Director of Legal Services. Alada stated that the CBN has the power to grant the loans and allow repayment through securitization, as per the provisions of Section 38 of the CBN Act.

The court also noted that the CBN was the sole investor in the securitization process, ensuring that no inflation would be caused by the securitization. Additionally, the plaintiffs failed to provide credible evidence demonstrating any breaches by the CBN and the Debt Management Office regarding the securitization.

Earlier in the proceedings, the court had ruled that the plaintiffs, who claimed to be acting on behalf of 220 million Nigerians, lacked the legal standing (locus standi) to file the lawsuit. The plaintiffs failed to show that they had obtained a mandate from the people they claimed to represent or demonstrate that they had stronger interests than any other average Nigerian in the securitization of the Ways & Means loans.

The court expressed its disapproval of the practice of individuals, described as “busybodies,” rushing to court to waste its time with such cases. No costs were awarded to either party.

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