President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Minister of Finance, the National Assembly and the Federal Government have all been dragged before the Federal High Court in Abuja over the plan by the government to borrow $22.7billion, by a group of political parties under the aegis of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
In a statement by one of its members, the Action People’s Party (APP), they are asking the court to restrain the Federal Government from further borrowing.
The coalition is asking, amongst other things, for a declaration that it is unlawful and unconstitutional for the National Assembly to offer to undertake any guarantee for the requested external loan made by the President when the terms and conditions of the said loan has not been duly laid before, considered and approved by the NASS as mandatorily stipulated by the law.
The party is equally praying the court to declare as unconstitutional, unlawful and ultra vires the executive powers of the President to borrow external loan and participate in the negotiation and acquisition of any external loan without proper legislative framework by the NASS.
According to CUPP’s spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere, they have also asked the lenders through a written statement not to grant the loan.
He said “The loan request is riddled with project lopsidedness, lack of financial prudence, secrecy, plan to use loan for frivolous projects, over costing of projects, corruption, misapplication and incompetence.
“The Senate leadership has clearly and unambiguously shown it is not on the side of the people and it is not representing the Nigerian people but their selfish interest.
“There unpatriotic stand on national issues and lack of vision has become all the more apparent and have turned the Senate into a chamber filled by Political Allelluya boys.
“Fellow Nigerians, the exchange rate of the Dollars due to certain vagaries including gross mismanagement of our economy is now chasing N400 to a Dollar.
“This means that at this rate, the $22.7b foreign loan will be the equivalent N9, 080,000,000,000 (nine trillion and eighty billion naira only)
“This is more than the entire 2019 budget and just a little less than the entire 2020 budget.
“How can a government borrow its entire budget yet citizens are in doubt as to the contents of the loan package,” he said.