Financial spot

Williams Emovbira, an SSS victim, has been given permission by a UK court to take $21 million from a CBN account at JP Morgan in New York.


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Louis Williams Emovbira, a British-Nigerian who was abused and cheated by the State Security Service (SSS) in 1986, has been granted permission by a court in the United Kingdom to collect $21 million and almost £20,000 from Nigeria’s central bank account, which is held at JP Morgan in the United States filings.

Justice Mary Clare Moulder’s decision gives Mr. Emovbira the legal authority to contact JP Morgan in New York and take possession of $21,231,960.74 and £19,763.130 from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s account, which is housed at the premier American bank.
Mr. Emovbira claimed his right to the judgment fund from the funds of Nigeria at JP Morgan in a lawsuit brought before the Supreme Court of the State of New York on June 26, 2023.

His attorneys stated, “Plaintiff has secured (and is entitled to the acknowledgment of) a money judgment in its favor and against the respondent Nigerian government.

On November 9, 2018, Mr. Emovbira received the ruling from the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice; nevertheless, the money had accumulated 9% interest throughout the nearly five-year period since the ruling.
According to court documents, Mr. Emovbira in 1986 guaranteed $6.5 million payable within 90 days for his client Pearl Konsult Ltd (PKL) to export food to Nigeria from England after a British attorney Reuben Gale approached PKL and proposed to pay N30 million in the form of bank drafts to be cashed in a Nigerian bank.

But to Mr. Emovbira’s absolute surprise, as soon as the drafts were prepared for encashment, his bank account was frozen. When he later learned that Mr. Gale was actually an agent of the vicious secret police, SSS, rather than the businessman he had purported to be, the dossier alleged, the plot grew more complex. According to papers, Mr. Chukwu, who was allegedly connected to the SSS, was represented by Mr. Gale at the time.

The British-Nigerian businessman was later detained by the SSS on orders from the CBN, according to evidence shown in court. The CBN later charged him with plotting to sell foreign money without authorization in contravention of the 1984 Exchange Control and Anti-Sabotage Decree.

According to Mr. Emovbira, he was given a 10-year sentence in 1986 but was able to flee to London in 1989. But he said that all of his previous attempts to get his money back from the Nigerian authorities had failed.

On August 23, 1993, Mr. Emovbira received a presidential pardon from Ibrahim Babangida, who was still the military leader of state at the time, along with an order sanctioning his restitution for the stolen monies. He claimed he never got the money.

According to a portion of Mr. Emovbira’s Fidelity Guarantee, “the government admitted that the money it promised to pay back Dr. Williams had been “obtained by fraud deception and racketeering influenced plan of premeditated felony.”

Following its investigation, a special court review panel led by Interim National Government (ING) official Ernest Shonekan declared Mr. Emovbira to be innocent of the accusation brought against him and upheld General Babangida’s pardon.

On September 14 and 28, 1993, the presidency wrote to the CBN requesting that stolen cash be paid, but the central bank of the country has not responded, he claimed.

Because CBN remained silent about making the promised payments, the legal disputes continued for many years after Nigeria’s return to civil rule.

Charles Soludo, the CBN governor at the time, also recognized that Mr. Emovbira was owed money.

In addition, Mr. Emovbira provided the court with a presidential order from Umar Yar’Adua dated July 1, 2009, requesting that the CBN pay the victim right away to stop additional pointless legal disputes.

A request for comments regarding Mr. Emovbira’s complaint was not immediately responded to by a CBN spokesman. However, the bank had filed a motion asking that the case be moved from the State of New York Supreme Court to a federal court so that Nigeria could use its claim of sovereign immunity to argue that it is a sovereign state and cannot be ordered around by other countries.

According to a motion filed by the bank’s attorneys on August 18, 2023, “The CBN respectfully requests that the aforementioned action be removed from the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, where it was filed, to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and for such and other further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.”

The federal government, the federation’s attorney general, CBN, JP Morgan & Co., and ten additional parties who have not yet been identified as defendants in the lawsuit are among the defendants.

In addition, Mr. Emovbira pleaded with President Bola Tinubu to instruct the CBN to transfer the monies to him in order to resolve the protracted legal dispute and prevent the Nigerian government from suffering embarrassment by enforcing the confiscation order in a foreign bank.

When the money is recovered, according to Mr. Emovbira, it would be applied to bettering children’s health and education in Nigeria. Using Peoples Gazette


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