There appear to be no end in sight to the legal action that was instituted by 11 states following disagreements over the decision of the federal government to stop the sharing of revenue accruing from excess crude oil.
The Presidency had early last week opted for an out of court settlement in connection with the suit that was instituted by Niger, Oyo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Imo, Yobe, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Benue and Bauchi states to prevail on the Federal Revenue Allocation Committee (FAAC) and National Economic Council (NEC) from stopping the statutory sharing.
The 11 state had sought the interpretation of the court as to whether the Federal Government has the sole right to dictate on funds which the states has equal stakes in.
But, late last week, it became obvious that the Presidency’s appeal for a stay of litigation may have yielded no fruit as the case will still be heard as soon as the Supreme Court forms a quorum. The case was to have come up since January 19, 2009
Confirming the development in a chat with newsmen after attending a meeting of the expanded Committee on the Federation Account Allocation,, Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, disclosed that FAAC meeting had agreed on a consensus and how to resolve the issue
The meeting was chaired by Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan. Also in attendance were the Governors of Osun state as well as the, Minister of Finance, Minister of State for Finance
Throwing more light on the outcome of the meeting which lasted for about 30 minutes, Governor Daniel told reporters that “basically on some of the claims that some states are making on the Federal Government, which led to certain deductions. Ogun State and 12 other states are actually litigating, but I think today, we made progress because we agreed in principle that we must work it out”.
“It is the same great country; these are issues of fiscal federalism that we have been talking about. But I think we are making progress because there is a consensus today that there is indeed some issues that need to be sorted out. We are hoping that from here, we can go on and seek leave whether to slow down the court process, so that we have the opportunity to talk. The case has been on for some time”, he added