Nigerian govt followed due diligence in payment of Paris Club refund – Malami | Ripples Nigeria
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Nigerian govt followed due diligence in payment of Paris Club refund – Malami

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said on Tuesday the Federal Government followed extra-ordinary due diligence in handling the payment of  $3.2 million Paris Club refund.

Malami, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja, was reacting to reports by an online platform alleging that some individuals were pushing for payment of “contradictory and incongruous figures” on judgment debt and Paris Club refund.

The judgment debt was based on a suit filed by some affected local governments and Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) against the federal government in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/130/13 – LINAS International LTD & 235 ORS V. Federal Government of Nigeria & 3 Others to recover the $3.2 million.

 

The judgment was delivered in favour of the plaintiffs on December 3, 2013, while a Garnishee Order Absolute was granted in 2016 directing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Garnishee to pay the amount to local governments.

The Garnishee Order was granted by Justice H.B. Yusuf.

Malami said the said judgment was delivered years before President Muhammadu Buhari came to office and long before he was made a minister.

He said: “My initial reaction was to ignore the reports because they lacked merit as evidenced by not only contradictory submissions but also a hasty collection of feeble fabrications, unsubstantiated concoctions, and figment of imagination of the writer.

“However, we have to set the record straight and to clear the mischievous insinuations and misconceptions intended to be the aftermath of the report.”

The AGF said his office wrote letters to security agencies to conduct independent investigations on the issue.

READ ALSO: World Bank, IMF, Paris Club, G20 agree to suspend debt service

Malami added: “In the final report, the EFCC maintained that the respective judgments obtained by Riok Nigeria Limited and Edwards & Partners affirming their entitlements to payments were confirmed by the records obtained from the respective FCT High Courts.

“Findings of the investigation of the Law Enforcement and Security Agency also revealed that there exist a valid consultancy and legal service agreement between TED EDWARDS and PARTNERS and Incorporated Trustees of ALGON for the recovery of Local Government’s share of London Debt Buy Back and Exist from the federal government’s consolidated revenue fund.

 

“The facts of the case as revealed in the course of investigation do not indicate any act(s) of criminality on part of the parties in the transaction as contained in the submission to my dated June 13, 2017.

“It is imperative to note that the further request of my office to security and law enforcement agencies was to have a thorough investigation of the issue concluded.”

 

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