Friday, April 12, 2024

 

Malami In Hurry To Give Govt Funds To Individuals – Govs

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to allow the court to rule on the payment of the $418million debt purportedly owed some consultants contractors in relation to the Paris Club refund.
Malami, while speaking at the weekly Ministerial Media Briefing in Abuja on Thursday, said the governors have no justification to challenge the $418 million deductions from the Paris Club refund paid to consultants they hired.

The AGF had said the concern arising from the Governors Forum was not only unjustified, but “a clear case of absence of defense”, adding that the governors created the liability whose payment they had also indemnified.

Speaking on the development, the NGF spokesperson, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, accused Malami of transferring public funds to private individuals when the governors were still disputing the claims of the consultants.

Bello-Barkindo, who spoke in an interview on Channels Television on Friday, said: “We rely on President Muhammadu Buhari’s order and wait for the courts to make their determination.

“Is he (Malami) not a lawyer? As the Chief Law Officer of the country, the AGF should allow parties exhaust their legal options.

“People should ask the AGF why he is in a hurry to pay public funds to private individuals when we are in court on the same issue.

“We are saying these people’s claims are not true and we are in court against them. The AGF should allow the courts to determine the cases.”

The NGF spokesman added that the concern of the governors was the evidence of work done with the Paris Club fund.

He said: “The Paris Fund money has been exhausted, and the consultants and the Attorney-General are expecting the money to be deducted from states’ accounts from sources over 52 or 58 months. That is unheard of.

“And what the NGF is saying is that there is no money to be paid and the monies that have been paid are gross errors.

“Where they are asking the monies to be gotten from is the biggest sacrilege. This money belongs to the states, the masses of this country and because you’re powerful, you want money to be taken and given to you.

“That’s why they are using the attorney general of the federation to get the money at the source because the state does not have any reason to pay.

“What the Attorney-General is claiming that there is a consent judgement is what the NGF is saying did not exist.

“What the NGF is asking for is evidence of work done. Some of them said they have constructed primary healthcare across the country, and others said they have provided boreholes, these are physical things that you can show, Bello-Barkindo stated.

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