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Governors Vow To Resolve $419m Paris Club Loan Refund By Litigation

The row over the payment of $419 million to Paris Club Loan Refund consultants is yet to abate, following the insistence of governors to resolve the crisis by litigation.

It was gathered that the governors have foreclosed political solution to the matter because the dispute was already at the Court of Appeal.

According to findings by our correspondent, the governors met Monday evening in Abuja and resolved to pursue the case for the sake of prosperity.


They also said the deduction of the $419m cash from the Federation Account monthly may put some states in distress.

The governors are said to be in possession of a report by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to strengthen their case in court.

A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said the governors felt the judgments relied upon by some consultants to demand the huge fee are not sustainable in the appellate court.

The source said: “There is nothing like a political solution to the case on payment of $419million to some consultants on Paris Club debt refund. We are already in court, there is no basis for any political negotiation.


“ There is a subsisting court order that there should be no deduction from the allocations of states and local governments pending determination of the case. So, the threat of a garnishee order does not hold water. There are many gaps in this $419million case which will soon be exposed to Nigerians.


“ It is a straightforward case. It is about the overall interest of Nigeria and we must not allow our nation to be shortchanged. It is not a personal issue, it is about our future as a nation.

“At our meeting, we agreed that we should pursue the case to its logical conclusion. We don’t mind going to the Supreme Court on this matter.

The source added: "We have a report written by EFCC which faulted demand for payments by the consultants.”

Since April 19, 2021, there had been controversy over the payment of the $419million.

The amount involved had varied from $318million to $419million.

The Nigeria Governors Forum(NGF) and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) had protested to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, against deductions from the states statutory allocations from the Federation Account.

The NGF’s counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), in the April 19, 2021 letter to the Minister, said: “The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has engaged our services to challenge the decisions of the Court relating to or connected with payments of Legal and Consultancy fees arising from London Club Debt, Buy Back and London Club Debt Exit Payment, which is the fulcrum of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/130/13 — LINAS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED & ORS.V. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA & ORS.

“As you already know, the claim of Or. Ted Iseghoni Edwards arose from legal services he allegedly rendered to the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).

“Consequently, we have prepared all the court processes challenging the judgments of courts and seeking for stay of execution and/or injunction pending appeal.

“We have been unable to file due to the ongoing strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), which has occasioned a complete shut-down of our Courts. Find attached herewith copies of the processes already prepared and awaiting the re-opening of the Courts for filing.

“Our attention has been drawn to a letter from the firm of Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN & Co dated 8” April 2021, urging you to issue promissory notes to Dr Ted Iseghoni Edwards. 

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