Nigeria Governors’ Forum has insisted that the fraud associated with Paris Club Refund cannot be blurred with campaign of calumny sponsored by Attorney General of the Federal Government, Abubakar Malami, SAN and Consultant, NED Nwoko.
NGF denied receiving $100m dollars from Consultants of Paris Club Refund for elections, adding that no professional advocacy, media campaign to hoodwink the public can change the law.
In a statement released to Nigerian Newssphere on Sunday, Director, Media and Public Affairs Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo said Claims by AGF, Nwoko are half truth, blatant lies.
“Not surprisingly, the desperate, spurious and futile advocacy mounted and coordinated by the AGF on behalf of the so-called Paris Club Consultants to justifthehehee plundering of the humongous sum of USD418.9m from the public treasury of the States and Local Governments continued on Saturday 20th August 2022, when Ned Nwoko, in a press statement, attempted to blur and obfuscate the real facts and legal issues in controversy by dishing out blatant lies and half-truths.
“Undoubtedly, the salient facts on the fraud associated with the Paris Club refunds can never be changed by a thousand Press Statements by the AGF or any of the Consultants. As the Judgments of the appellate courts, particularly that of the Supreme Court have begun to expose the creepiness and unlawful nature of the consultants claims; it is not surprising that they are now afflicted by dizzy spells, seriously discomforted and are now driven by desperation to ensure that the plundering and fleecing of the State is quickly completed before the determination of the pending proceedings in the appellate and other courts in order to foist a situation of frustration and helplessness on the States. This is obvious as the consultants are not in a position to restore the funds to the States if they lose on appeal; as it is becoming apparent.
No professional advocacy or media campaign to hoodwink the public can change the law. We are not unmindful of the ridiculous claim by one of consultants that it was his media campaign that swayed a Federal High Court Judgment in favour of the NGF. Interestingly, the public which is the greatest victim in the mismanagement of scare public resources has since been well informed and is on red alert to avert and stop what is apparently an attempt by some ravenous rent seekers masquerading as consultants to further exacerbate the economic woes of citizens under the prevailing dire economic situation. The use of libelous language on the person of the Chairman of NGF, who has refused to be compromised and has firmly stood his ground on the unconstitutional and unlawful nature of the consultants’ claims, is not helpful to their case either”.
This is as the Governors urged all parties to await outcome of the Appeal already at the Court to on the matter.
“The NGF and its leadership remain focused and determined to diligently pursue all appeals on the Judgments on the Paris Club refunds. All that it requests of the AGF and the consultants is to allow the appeal processes to run and be exhausted. It may be that the consultants will successfully defend the appeals after which they will be paid. However, if they lose as RIOK NIGERIA LTD has lost; which is the most likely verdict that shall befall all the other consultants; let the public funds in issue remain protected.
“We urge NED and the other consultants to end the media war and direct all energies towards defending the appeals”, the statement concluded.