The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has debunked the recent statement by Mr. Ned Nwoko concerning the fraud associated with the Paris Club refunds, saying it is patent lies dished out in order to disabuse the minds of the undiscerning public.
According to the NGF, 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 Ned Munir Nwoko ($68,658,192.83), DR. Ted Isighohi Edwards $159,000,000, Panic Alert Securities Systems LTD ($47,831,920), RiIOK NIG. Ltd, USD142, 028,941.95), Prince Orji Orizu $1,219,440.45 and Barrister Olaitan Bello $215,195.36. all amounted to $418,953,690.59
NGF said, 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.
“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 $418.9million from the public treasury of the States and Local Governments continued on Saturday 20th August 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.
“It is therefore needless joining issues with NED NWOKO or indeed any of the consultants,” NGF said.
Speaking further, the forum maintained that 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% 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. Their cases therefore rise or fall together. A poison of the part is a poison of the whole. What is unlawful remains unlawful. Its origin is immaterial and the part or role played by all parties separately or collectively at all times is unlawful and cannot be remedied.
In his desperation to justify his claim, NED peddled untruths that his team was a member of the Federal Government Committee constituted to reconcile figures under the Paris Club refunds to the States and Local Governments. That is patently false. The report of that committee dated May, 2007 shows that only the FMF, OAGF, CBN, DMO and RMFC (secretariat) were members. Private persons who were not privy could not have been included in a committee that was meant to examine purely public financial records. It was this Committee that did all the work now claimed by NED and the other consultants.
“Understandably, the Supreme Court (SC) has in its Judgment dated 3rd June, 2022 sent a clear signal in SUIT NO 337/2018: RIOK NIG LIMITED VS NGF 7 ORS that the claims of the consultants are unequivocally unconstitutional as funds of States and Local Governments cannot be attached in the Federation account in the manner approved and pushed by the AGF.
“The NGF and its leadership remain focused and determined to diligently pursue all appeals on the Judgments on the Paris Club refunds. All that it requests of the AGF and the consultants is to allow the appeal processes to run and be exhausted. It may be that the consultants will successfully defend the appeals after which they will be paid. However, if they lose as RIOK NIGERIA LTD has lost; which is the most likely verdict that shall befall all the other consultants; let the public funds in issue remain protected,” NGF said.