Abubakar Malami
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

Paris Club: Nigerian governors slam AGF Malami over $418m consultancy fee

NEWS DIGEST – The Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, has countered the claim by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for claiming that the forum had a collective agreement to pay $418 million to the consultant of the Paris Club refund.

THE NEWS DIGEST reports that there had been controversy over consultancy fees amounting to $418 million from the Paris Club refund.

Briefing State House correspondents on Thursday, Mr Malami said that the NGF has no basis to reject the proposed deduction.

Reacting, the NGF spokesman, Abdulrazaque Barkindo, said the claim by the consultant is bogus and unverifiable.

Speaking on Channels TV, Mr Barkindo alleged that the AGF is working for private individuals to circumvent the state.

He said: “There is no component that compels the governors’ forum to pay consultants anything, and there is no agreement between the consultants collectively and governors collectively,” 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 saying is tasking is evidence of work done. Some of them said they have constructed primary health cares across the country, and other said they have provided boreholes, these are physical things that you can show.

“This matter is in court. The court is the only authority that can determine clearly whether there is a reason for payment or not, why are highly placed lawyers afraid of their own platform?”

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