The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, set machinery in motion to probe the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Bello Adoke, over alleged payment of about N14 billion judgment debt when an appeal was still ongoing on the case.
The resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Honourable Robinson Uwak, as the House mandated its Committee on Justice to investigate the payment of judgment debts, particularly the case of Interstella Communications Limited vs NITEL, in which the plaintiff was claiming, among others, the sum of N14,256,000,000.
The committee was also mandated to ascertain whether or not such ongoing and pending debts were properly incurred and deserved the commitment of public funds, while it was to submit its report to the House within 21 days.
The House equally urged President Goodluck Jonathan to direct the immediate suspension of the payment of the judgment claims by Interstella Communications Limited and other judgment debts, pending verification by the committee.
Honourable Uwak, while leading debate on the motion, claimed that despite the fact that the case was not finally determined, as it was still before the Court of Appeal, “the Attorney-General has commenced payment to Interstella Communications, even when NITEL insisted that it had already paid Interstella the sum of N52,349,460.
“The piling up of judgment debts against the Federal Government and the apparent zeal and willingness of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Ministry of Justice to pay same, instead of diligently defending litigations, does not reflect competence and/or commitment to the discharge of his fundamental duty of protecting the interest of the Federal Government,” he said.
Meanwhile, the House, on Wednesday, embarked on a two-week recess and would resume on June 19.