Governors’ complaint over Paris Club deductions unjustified – Malami
The Federal Government declared on Thursday the 36 state governors have no whatsoever to complain about $418 million Paris Club refund deductions paid to consultants.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, stated this at the ministerial media briefing held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He stressed that the governors took steps to pay the consultants but later opted to stop payment and asked for an out-of-court settlement instead.
The governors had in April asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to restrain the federal government from approving the deduction of any money accruing to the states from the Federation Account for the payment of the Paris Club deductions.
Malami said: “The Nigeria Governors’ Forum comprising of all the governors sat down commonly agreed on the engagement of a consultant to provide certain services for them relating to the recovery of the Paris Club. So, in the first place, it was the governors that engaged the consultant.
Read also:Govs’ Forum accuses Malami of dishonesty over unlawful $418m Paris Club Fund deductions
“When eventually, successes were recorded associated with the refund, associated with Paris Club, the governors collectively and individually presented a request to the federal government for the fund.
“And among the components of the claim presented for the consideration of the federal government was a component related to the payment of these consultants that are now constituting the subject of contention. So the implication of that is that the governors in their own right recognized the consultant, recognized their claim and presented a claim to the federal government.
“When the claims were eventually processed and paid to the governor’s forum. They indeed on their own, without the intervention of the federal government took steps to make part payments to the consultants, acknowledging their liability over the same.
“When eventually they made such payments at a point they took a decision to stop the payment. The consultants instituted an action in court against the governors’ forum. And what happened in court? They submitted to consent judgment.
“They asked and urged the court to allow them to settle out of court. The court granted them an opportunity to settle. They commit terms of settlement in writing, signed the terms of the settlement, agreeing and conceding that such payments be made to the consultant.”
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