Lawyer asks Court to Declare Sovereign Investment Authority  illegal

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Mr Jideobi also wants the court to order a forensic audit of the organisation’s accounts from inception and to declare the NSIA as an unconstitutional body.

The lawyer’s request is contained in an application for interlocutory injunction made available to PREMIUM TIMES, which he filed on Friday alongside the main suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/628/2020.

The defendants in the suit are the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (first); the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila (second); the National Assembly (third), and its clerk, Mohammed Sani-Omolori (fourth).

Others are the NSIA (fifth), the agency’s MD, Mr Orji (sixth); the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (seventh), and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed (eighth)

Mr Jideobi is in his suit challenging the legality of the NSIA, which was created by the NSIA (Establishment) Act 2011 during the Goodluck Jonathan administration to receive, manage and invest some of the Federation Account funds to prepare for any eventual depletion of Nigeria’s oil reserve.

The lawyer argued that various provisions of the NSIA Act violated the provisions of sections 80 and 162 of the Nigerian Constitution which created the Federation Account/Consolidated Revenue Fund Account and provided that all revenues accruing to the federal government must be paid into them and shared by the tiers of governments.

He also argued that the National Assembly lacks the power to make a law like the NSIA which he contended authorised the violation of the provisions of sections 80 and 162 of the Constitution.

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Mr Jideobi sought for an order, “suspending the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the 5th defendant, NSIA, from office forthwith to pave way for a forensic audit into all the accounts and all the investments made by the 5th defendant commencing from June, 2011 to the date”.

He also sought an order “appointing a reputable auditing firm like Pricewaterhouse Coopers Limited or Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited to undertake a forensic audit of all the accounts and all the investments of the 5th defendant from June, 2011 to the date.”

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