The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) after slamming the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, over his alleged interests in the controversial $418million request by consultants regarding the Paris Club refund, have insisted on a court action.
According to Nation, the row over the payment of the Paris Club Loan Refund to consultants is yet to abate, following the insistence of governors to resolve the crisis by litigation.
It was gathered that the governors had foreclosed political solution to the matter because the dispute was already at the Court of Appeal.
According to findings, 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 $418million 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 fees are not sustainable in the appellate court.
The source said: “There is nothing like 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.”
SaharaReporters had on November 8 reported that the controversial payment of the sum of $418million to consultants had become a contending issue between the three tiers of government.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had on Friday stopped the federal government from deducting $418million from the bank accounts of the 36 states of the federation.
The NGF had said the decision of Malami to throw his weight behind the consultants who had been battling desperately to grab $418million from the accounts of states and local governments “raises questions of propriety and the spirit of justice.”