Fed. High Court Sets Aside $47,821,920 Panic Alert Security System LTD’s Professional Fee

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Hon. Justice J.T. TSOHO, after listening to the submission of Paul Harris Ogbole SAN, Counsel to Governors Forum, has set aside the consent judgment in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/123/2018 in its entirety. The Court held the same having been entered without jurisdiction.

In sum total, the purported consent judgment between Panic Alert Security System LTD V. the NGF has been set aside.

Consequently, all approvals by the AGF, the President, Minister of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation, Debt-Management Office arising from, related to or concerning Panic Alert Security System LTD’s claims have collapsed. All Promissory Notes, cheques or any financial instrument issued by the FGN in favour of Panic Alert Security System LTD stand nullified and canceled and of no effect whatsoever.   

Panic Alert Security System LTD, purporting to have been contracted by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) approached the Court, to review a 16-page judgment in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/130/2013, between LINAS INTERNATIONAL LTD & 235 ORS. V. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA & 3 ORS.

Panic Alert Security System LTD claimed to be entitled to a sum of Forty-Seven Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty United States Dollars ($47,821,920 ), being consultancy fees which were never agreed or specified in any contract with the NGF.

PANIC ALERT thereafter filed an action for breach of contract against the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at the Federal High Court, Abuja on the 8th day April, 2021.     

The Consent Judgment arising from the suit did not award the sum of ($47,821,920) or any other sum to Panic Alert Security System LTD. On the contrary, the Judgment merely stated that PANIC ALERT will be referred to the Attorney General of the Federation for verification and settlement. Curiously, Panic Alert Security System LTD relied on this consent judgment to lay claim to professional fees of $47,821,920.    

Even more surprisingly, the AGF also relied on this judgment and recommended that the sum of $47,821,920 be paid to Panic Alert Security System LTD.

Dissatisfied wirh the AGF’s recommendation based on the said consent judgement, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum engaged Paul Harris Ogbole, SAN, to challenge the consent judgment upon which the AGF relied.    

Paul Harris Ogbole, SAN, Counsel to NGF.

The Learned Silk on 30th day of June, 2021 filed a motion to set aside the purported Consent Judgment on the grounds, among others, that the Federal High Court by virtue of Section 251 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) lacks jurisdiction to have entertained a matter that was founded on a simple contract.

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