New Telegraph

September 30, 2023

Governors’ve no basis to complain on deduction of $418 million from Paris Club refund – AGF

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that the governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), have no justification to stop the deduction of the sum of $418 million from the Paris Club refund for the payment of the four consultants they hired.

The minister, who revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has not incurred any judgement debt since he came to power in 2015, said this Thursday while responding to questions at a Ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa.

Malami equally disclosed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured conviction of 7118 persons from 2017 till date adding that the government has also raked in the sum of N1, 823,788,146.86 from sale of forfeited assets.

Asked to react to the governors’ claim that deduction of $418 million for settlement of the four consultants from the Federation Account was unconstitutional, unlawful and a breach of the rule of law, Malami said they should blame themselves for creating the liability and indemnifying the same.

According to him, the NGF made a request for the refund and one of the components was the settlement of the consultants who were engaged by the forum.

He recalled that when the Paris Club refund was paid to the states, the governors initially made part payment to the consultants.

The minister explained further that when the governors decided to stop the payment and asked for an out-of-court settlement with the contractors, he advised the President to pay them which obliged after being satisfied that no fraud was involved in the claims.

Malami added that he got indemnity from the governors before advising the President to settle the consultants.

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