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$418m Paris Club Refund: Governors say Malami’s utterances fraudulent, self-serving

The Nigerian Governors have described the actions of the Attorney-General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as regards the $418m Paris Club refund as fraudulent and self-serving.

Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti State Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, said this on Wednesday as part of a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.

The AGF had on Thursday August 11 2022 told Journalists that State Governors have no basis to refute the over $418m deductions from the Paris Club refund paid to consultants they hired.

Speaking at the 46th Session of the State House Ministerial Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, Malami argued that the Governors originally created the liability whose payment they have also indemnified.

He explained that when the Nigeria Governors’ Forum requested for a refund, one of the conditions was the settlement of the consultants it engaged.

The Justice Minister also said when the refund was paid to the states, part payment was made to the consultants. But the governors eventually halted payment, requesting an out-of-court settlement instead.

He explained that the governors’ decision promoted a request to President Buhari to disburse the payments.

The request, he said, was forwarded to the Office of the Attorney-General for its legal counsel.

Malami says After running the required checks, the AGF’s Office spotted no elements of fraud involved.

“That was when we agreed that the payment should be made,” he stated.

But speaking on Wednesday evening, the governors termed Malami’s moves as “fraudulent” and vowed to drag the AGF to the “highest court in the land,” the Supreme Court.

They vowed not to back down but “keep fighting”.

On the ongoing ASUU Strike, The Governor’s appealed to the striking lecturers and the federal government to reach an agreement and allow students to return to school.

The forum says it also discussed issues around the state of the economy and the current insecurity in the country promising to engage with relevant stakeholders including presidential candidates of political parties to address the issues.


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