August 21, 2022

Paris Club Refund: NGF took $100m for state elections — Consultants

*’Our money is $68m, not $418m’

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The consultants working on Paris Club refund, yesterday, alleged that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) demanded and received $100 million to prosecute elections in some states.

The consultants also alleged that the governors are the problem of Nigeria.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, the Lead Consultant, Ned Nwoko, alleged that when he submitted a bill of $350 million as the consultancy fee, the state governors demanded to be paid 50 percent of it before it could be honored.

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He said a former Chairman of the forum had explained it to him that the money was needed to prosecute elections in Bauchi, Ekiti and Ondo states.

According to him, the Ministry of Justice intervened and the governors eventually received the sum of $100 million.

Nwoko revealed that the money owed to the consultants was $68 million and not $418 million as reported in public space.

The consultant further said that he and his colleagues have nothing to do with $418 million which, he said, must be a miscalculation.

He absolved the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, of any wrongdoing as he said the minister was only trying to ensure that the law was obeyed.

Nwoko stated that the agreements and judgment being executed were reached before the advent of the present administration.

The Lead Consultant also accused theChairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, of being unfaithful over the payment to the consultants.

“For a very long time, the governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of NGF has said so many inconsistent and misleading things. I felt I should restrain myself from joining issues with him”, he said. 

“I am compelled to debunk the litany of lies by the Chairman of Governors Forum.”

Nwoko faulted the NGF for saying that there was no indemnity, even as he deflected the position of the governors that there is a Supreme Court judgement against LINAS or himself, adding, “If there is any, I will volunteer to forgo my money.”

On the alleged lies by the NGF, he said, “It is false that the NGF did not act or represent the state governors over the current round of refund on the Paris Club.

“It is also false that past regimes refused to pay the consultancy fees. Refunds started under the Obasanjo regime. If the NGF had paid in accordance with agreement this would have been averted”, he said.

“The NGF chairman, Governor Fayemi said there was no court Order of mandamus against the Federal Ministry of Finance and Attorney General. By Court Order dated 21st July, 2021 Federal High Court compelled Finance Minister, DMO DG and HAGF to either pay the value or issue Promissory Notes.

“The Governors gave the Federal Government Indemnity.

“The 1st Investigation over this matter was at the instance of the HAGF

“That the EFCC lacks technical expertise to Investigate this matter,

“Claims that states and local governments have not been fully paid notwithstanding that states have been paid $10billion following from the litigation I commenced In 2014 and LGAs $3.1billion following from the litigation I commenced In 2013.

“There no court judgment in favour of NGF against either Linas International Limited or Ned Nwoko Solicitors. On the contrary we have judgements against them which they are trying to circumvent by all means.”

Sunday Vanguard efforts to get the NGF to respond to the consultants claims, last night were unsuccessful.

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