By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja
COALITION of United Political Parties and Civil Society Organisations, CUPPCSO, has faulted moves by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, to sideline former lawmaker and lead consultant for the recovery of over-deductions from Paris and London clubs debt buyback funds, Ned Nwoko, over a consultancy agreement with state governors and Local Government Chairman.
The National Co-Spokesman, CUPP, Comrade Mark Adebayo who spoke on behalf of the Director of Mobilization, CUPP and National Chairman, Action Alliance, Barr. Kenneth Ueze, and Executive Director, Center for Public Accountability, CPA, Adefemi Lawson, at a press briefing in Abuja, described the move by NGF as an ‘egregious injustice.’
He noted that state governors were ignorant of the fact that their respective states were overpaying loans which partly informs their financial incapacitation, adding that the Local Government chairman were also ignorant of illegal deductions from their allocations.
Adebayo said reports from the EFCC and other documentary evidence showed that Ned Nwoko alone deployed massive resources to ensure the recovery of over deductions from the FG.
The EFCC report further indicated that Ned Nwoko Solicitors demanded $68million based on the consultancy agreement officially entered into with the state governments
Adebayo, however cautioned the NGF to as a matter of urgency pay-up all part-payments made to Ned Nwoko.
He said: “From the EFCC report and the NGF letter of no objection quoted above, it is clear that Ned Nwoko Solicitors and International Ltd worked to assist the States and LGs to recover their overdeducted funds from the Federal Government.
“The main issue now is that, having made part-payments of the consultancy fees to Ned Nwoko and Linas International, the Nigerian Governors’ decided to stop midway and wouldn’t want to pay the balance of the outstanding fees. The question now is why?
“Having carried out such an outstanding assignment for the states and LGs to assist them recover billions of dollars that they never imagined they could get, one would have thought that one good turn deserves another and that the NGF and ALGON would, without any hesitation, fulfill their pre-assignment financial obligations to Ned Nwoko Solicitors and Linas International. Alas! That’s not the case here.
“The questions are, why are the governors doing this? Why would they block the legitimate earning of a Nigerian citizen who worked so hard to rescue you from financial calamity? A man who deserves a national award is now being treated like a common criminal and being painted bad before the public.
“This is an egregious injustice that must be reversed immediately by fully meeting the financial obligations entered into with Ned Nwoko solicitors and Linas International Ltd and rest this matter permanently.
“As you will notice on pages 19-20(1V) of the report of EFCC’s investigation on this matter already given to you, it was stated categorically that “there are proofs that both Ned Nwoko Solicitors and Linas International Ltd engaged the services of different professionals to carry out their assignments leading to stoppage of the deductions and subsequent refunds in 2008”.
“Now, after investing his own money to engage professionals – auditors, chattered accountants, lawyers, forensic experts, etc – locally and internationally who worked so hard to secure these refunds, the NGF is blocking the payment of his fees for no just cause. This is the crux of the matter that must be resolved immediately.”