State Governors have no Ground to Challenge deduction from Paris Club - Minister Malami

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says state governors in Nigeria have no grounds to challenge the $418 million deductions from the Paris Club refund paid to consultants they hired.

Malami said, the comments from  the Governors Forum was not only unwarranted, but a obvious issue of nonattendance of defense.

The minister made this known during the weekly Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

He craved the indulgence of the governors that they shaped the burden whose payment they had also indemnified.

According to the minister ‘’when the Nigeria Governors’ Forum demanded  for the reimbursement, one of the constituent was the resolution of the consultants who were engaged by the forum’’.

‘’The governors later dogged to cease imbursement while asking for an out of court settlement’’.

He said this resulted to request to the President to make the payment, a request he said, was then conceded on to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for legal estimation.

The minister said that after being subjected to necessary checks it was discovered that there was no aspect of fraud in it.

He disclosed that the protection of the governors was sought and received, saying the governors  need to be informed  concerning  the previous circumstances as well as the ones prevailing  and how they all started from the initial stage.


He was quoted as saying ” I’m pleased to tell the fact that the Office of the Attorney General and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari had never  incurred any major judgment debt for the period of seven years of  it reign.

The minister further revealed that it was the Governors’ forum who   engaged the consultants from the start.

 He said the debts linked to Paris Club were created by the governor’s forum in their own right, who had consensus  on how to involve  consultants to map-out possibilities of recovery of the Paris Club.

The minister further revealed that it was the Governors’ forum in the first place that engaged the consultants.

He recalls that “When successes were recorded related to the repayment, associated with Paris Club, the governors collectively and individually presented a request to the federal government for the finance.

”And among the components of the claim presented for the consideration of the federal government was a part related to the payment of these consultants that made the topic of the debate and the inference of this is that the governors in their own right recognized the consultants, recognized their claim and presented such claim to the federal government.”

‘’The governors without the intrusion of the federal government agreed to make part payments to the said consultants.

After deciding to halt the payment, the consultants also chose to take legal action against the governors forum in Nigeria, after which they submitted to approved judgment and at the end they pleaded with  the Court to allow them settle the case out of court room which the court granted them to do.

“They committed terms of settlement in writing, they signed the terms of settlement, agreeing and conceding that such payments be made to the consultant.

“Thereafter, the federal government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was requested to comply with the judgment and effect payment.

“The president passed all the requests of the governors to the Office of the Attorney General for consideration.

”I suggested to the president on the face value of the judgment and the undertones associated with the consultancy services.

“It was my opinion, the same treatment we meted to P&ID, that let us subject this claim, the consent judgment to investigation by the agencies of the government,” Malami said.

He said the president endorsed the suggestion and directed the EFCC and DSS to look into these claims and report back to the office of the Attorney General.

“And these agencies reported and concluded that there was no problem undercurrent associated with it. Now, that was the background.

“But, one other point of interest you may wish to note, is the fact that the new leadership of the governors forum instituted an action..

”This was done even when the federal government was indeed acting on the basis of the judgment of the Supreme Court.

”They now embarked on a fresh legal suit, challenging the payment, challenging the previous agreement, challenging the indemnity and the court dismissed the application.

”Their case was dismissed by the Federal High Court.




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