Odi asks court to summon Sanusi over N39.7bn compensation

The people of Odi have asked the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt to summon the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi and other relevant officers of the apex bank to explain why they should not be committed to prison for allegedly disobeying a court order. Counsel to Odi Community, Mr. Lucious Nwosu (SAN), said Sanusi and others from the CBN were expected to appear in court over their refusal to release the sum of N36.7 billion compensation to the people of the community. It will be recalled that the court had directed that the sum of N36.7 billion be paid to Odi community for the invasion of the area by soldiers on November 20, 1999. Nwosu, who spoke with our correspondent in a telephone interview on Monday, said the court had invited Sanusi to come and explain why he could not obey court order. “Court has to invite Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to come and say why he cannot obey court order in relation to the genocide in Odi community in 1999. They are only custodians of money that does not belong to them, but belongs to the judgment debtor. “The court has ably ordered that Odi people should be paid and in fact, directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to release the money; the compensation awarded to the people. “Quite unfortunately, CBN rather than pay the money that is in their custody, have resorted to hiring lawyers and spending tax payers’ money. “We don’t understand how Central Bank is spending tax payers’ money, hiring lawyers in a case that does not concern them. They (CBN) are only custodians of money not belonging to them, but to the judgment debtor,” Nwosu said. Meanwhile, the absence of a High Court judge, Justice Lambo Akanbi, on Monday, stalled the hearing on contempt proceedings against the Central Bank of Nigeria over the compensation of Odi community. The court had directed that Odi community in Bayelsa State, which was invaded on November 20, 1999, be paid N37.6 billion compensation over soldiers’ attack on the people of the area. But the CBN was dragged to court by Odi community over its (CBN) alleged failure to release the compensation for the killings in the community about 15 years ago. Justice Lambo, who made a brief appearance in court, adjourned the matter till March 19, 2014, after disclosing that he had another engagement outside the state. In a related development, the Crowther Solicitors in London has registered the judgement of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt in the High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division, London. The Crowther Solicitor took the action on behalf of Odi community in a bid to recover the N36.7 billion compensation.

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