Paris Club refund: End Media War,We’re not involved in Taking $100m from consultants – NGF

The Nigeria Governors Forum NGF comprising governors of the 36 states of the federation has refuted alleged monetary gains from the consultants working on the London and Paris Club refunds, saying they were not involved in or in receipt of $100 million or any other funds from Ned Nwoko to finance elections in any state.

The consultants working on the London and Paris Club refunds had on Saturday, alleged that the NGF demanded and received $100 million to prosecute elections in some states, just as they also alleged that the governors and, especially chairman of the NGF and governor of Ekiti State, were the problems of the country

The consultants, who spoke through the lead consultants, Ned Nwoko, alleged that when he submitted a bill of $350 million as the consultancy fee, the state governors demanded to be paid 50 per cent of it before it could be honoured.

But in a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, the NGF Director of Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, said facts on the alleged fraud associated with the Paris Club refunds could never be changed by a thousand press statements by Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN or any of the consultants

The NGF urged Ned Nwoke and other consultants to end the media war and direct all energies towards defending the appeals, noting that as a body, it would not waste its valuable time to defend what it described as unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or persons in a position to defend themselves.

It said: “The NGF hereby states unequivocally that it has not at any time been involved in or been in receipt of USD$100 million or any other funds from Ned Nwoko to finance elections in any state.

Not surprisingly, the desperate, spurious and futile advocacy mounted and coordinated by the AGF on behalf of the so-called Paris Club consultants to justify the plundering of the humongous sum of USD418.9 million from the public treasury of states and local governments continued on Saturday, August 20, 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.

“The facts are and will always remain: whether the claims of the consultants are lawful and justified under our constitution and whether any judgment which is a subject of a pending appeal can be enforced or executed as the consultants now attempt to do?

If both questions are answered in the negative, it does not matter if the contracts leading to the claims were entered into by any public official, past or present.

“No person or persons can agree to blatantly circumvent our constitution and get away with it. Neither is the period when judgments were obtained of consequence in this case.

“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.

‘’It is, therefore, needless joining issues with Ned Nwoko or indeed any of the consultants. However, it is imperative to debunk patent lies dished out in order to disabuse the minds of the undiscerning public.

“While Mr. Ned Nwoko strenuously tried to single out and justify his own bogus claim of $68 million; the total amount which all the consultants working in concert, collectively seek and claim from the states and local governments, albeit unlawfully, is $418,953,690.59 broken down as follows:

i. Ned Munir Nwoko ($68,658,192.83), ii. Dr. Ted Isighohi Edwards ($159,000,000); iii. Panic Alert Security Systems Ltd ($47,831,920); iv. Riok Nig. Ltd (USD142,028,941.95); v. Prince Orji Orizu (USD1,219,440.45); vi. Barrister Olaitan Bello (USD215,195.36): Total: USD$418,953,690.59

“It is instructive to note that all the claims by the consultants are rooted in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/130/13 BETWEEN: LINAS INTERNATIONAL LTD & 35 ORS VS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA & 3 ORS in which NED NWOKO instituted, and was awarded a bogus 20 per cent of the sum of $3,188,078,505.96 from the states and local governments Paris Club refunds. The judgment has been challenged on appeal by the states and NGF in Suit No CA/ABJ/PRE/ROEA/CV/327M1/2022: ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ABIA STATE & 35 ORS VS LINAS INTERNATIONAL LTD & 239 ORS.

“The attempt by Ned, therefore, to separate his own claim of $68 million as if it is not related to the claims of other consultants is being clever by half.

“All the consultants claim to have rendered the same or similar service of helping the states and local governments to recover over-deducted Paris Club refunds by the Federal Government.”

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