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Leaked Letter: Ned Nwoko Threatens To Get Court Order Over Legal Fees On Paris Club Payments

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Leaked Letter: Ned Nwoko Threatens To Get Court Order Over Legal Fees On Paris Club Payments

Leaked Letter: Ned Nwoko Threatens To Get Court Order Over Legal Fees On Paris Club Payments
January 09
13:03 2021

…. There Was No Agreement Money Should Be Paid From LG Allocations- ALGON Reveals

Billionaire politician, Ned Nwoko has threatened to go to court over the resolve of the states and local governments in Nigeria to back out on the agreement allegedly reached on the payment of legal fees incurred over Paris Club payments.

Reacting to a report that he and the Federal Government would impoverish the 36 states and the 774 local governments in Nigeria with the direct deduction of the legal fees, Ned Nwoko, a former member of the Federal House of Representatives said in statement signed by his Media/Publicity Officer, Adeniyi Ifetayo that the state and local governments were bound to pay the fees based on agreements.

“The states and local governments have received their full refunds running into billions of dollars which helped them during the last recession to pay salaries and pensions and contractors. It was a windfall for them as it was not expected nor in their budgets.

“The consultants fees are outstanding and federal government said there are no money for the payments and opted for payment by long term bonds, which we reluctantly accepted if they object to the arrangements with federal government we will have no option than to get court orders for monthly deductions from their statutory monthly allocations.

“They are legal and subsisting obligations. Additionally, Nigerian governors forum, who diverted the cash meant for these payments two years ago gave federal government and indemnity against any claim by any of the consultants,” the statement read.

However, the Interim Management Committee of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has disassociated itself from approval for payments made to Ned Nwoko and others.

In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Muhammed Abubakar, ALGON IMC said that it was not aware of the approval.

“The attention of the Interim Management Committee of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has been drawn to some online publications stating that ALGON consented to the payment of billions of Naira for a decade to Prince Munir Ned Nwoko.

“I will like to state it categorically that the Interim Management Committee of ALGON is not aware of the terms of settlement that led to the consent judgment.

“It was neither signed nor authorized by it, but was sanctioned by the dissolved Hon. Kolade Alabi led exco to plung the 774 Local Governments in Nigeria into further financial crises without consulting the chairmen of the respective Local Governments across the country.

“It is quite unfortunate that ALGON with a core mandate of protecting the interest of 774 Local Governments across the country is now being used by not up to ten (10) chairmen to approve payments for jobs/contracts not executed and/or consultancies not rendered without any approval by ALGON NEC but few embattled exco,” Abubakar said.

Abubakar then called on the respective State Governors and Local Government Chairmen across the country to timeously appeal the judgment “as a party whose interest will be affected by it and file necessary documents to stall the payment for the contract and other similar ones, so that the activities of the third tier of government will not be paralysed by the economic saboteurs within and their cronies outside ALGON.”

It will be recalled that a correspondence dated 14th December, 2020 from the Ministry of Finance to the Chief of Staff to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Ibrahim Gambari on a 10-year period deductions from allocations to states and local governments in Nigeria was recently leaked to the press.

The letter, signed by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs (Dr.) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed is entitled; “Re: Liquidation of Judgment Debts On Behalf of Federal Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs); States and Local Governments” with reference number FMF/PSSD/SH/01/VOL.II/320.

It was stated in the letter that the Judgment Debts in Category A, “which are Paris Club related judgment debts would not be included in the 2021-2023 Federal Government Borrowing Plan.”

According to the letter, the debts were not liabilities of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), but of the States and Local Governments, which they said emanated from legal consultancy contracts agreements entered into by those tiers of Government.

“The settlement of this Category of judgment debts should ordinarily be effected from funds belonging to the States and Local Governments in the custody of the FGN. That being so, legislative resolution by both Chambers of the National Assembly would not be required for their liquidation.

“On whether the States and Local Governments have formally signed off on the proposed equal monthly deductions from their Statutory Allocations over a period of ten (10) years to defray the relevant expenses incurred by the FGN on their behalf in relation to the claims of the Category A Judgment Creditors, it is pertinent to state that the consent of a Judgment Debtor (in the case of the States/Local Governments is not required before a valid Judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction can be enforced,” the letter read.

The said deductions were proposed to be made to some individuals and organizations that were involved in the said Judgment.

The Finance Minister said further in the letter that both the former Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) had in 2019, given an indemnity and “No Objection Letters authorizing deductions from the relevant Statutory Allocation to meet the Paris Club related claims, especially the claims by Riok Nigeria Ltd and Dr. Ted Iseghohi Edwards.

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Mujeeb

Mujeeb

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