$418m Paris Refund: Governors appeal judgment

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The Governors of the 36 States of the federation have appealed the Federal High Court judgment which dismissed their suit challenging the planned deduction of $418 million from the Federation Account.

The money is meant to settle debts owed consultants engaged by the States and the local governments on the Paris Club refunds.

The Federal High Court in Abuja on March 25 dismissed a suit instituted by the 36 States’ Attorneys-General challenging plans by the Federal Government to deduct funds from the federation account to settle $418 million judgment debt in relation to the Paris Club refund.

The governors made the appeal through their Attorneys-General in a statement signed by five Senior Advocates of Nigeria, S. I. Ameh, J. S. Okutepa, Dr Garba Tetengi, Ahmed Raji and Olumuyiwa Akinboro.

The governors advised the public and all financial institutions in Nigeria and abroad that the matter was subjudice, urging them to desist from dealing with the defendants in the suit.

“With respect to promissory notes issued to them and intended to be discounted and given value from funds due to the states of the federation from the federation account… be it known that any person or persons who take steps in respect of the promissory notes in the face of the pending appeal do so at his or her peril,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the defendants that the general public are advised not to deal with are Dr Chris Asoluka (doing business under the name and style of NIPAL Consulting Network, Linas International Limited, Joe Odey Agi, (Practising under the name and style of Joe Agi, SAN & Associates).

Others, according to the statement, include Riok Nigeria Limited, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, Dr Ted Iseghohi Edwards, Panix Alert Security Systems Limited, Dr George Uboh, Ned Munir Nwoko, Prince Orji Orizu and Olaitan Bello.

Recall that Justice Inyang Ekwo had dismissed the suit by the Attorneys-General of the 36 States against the Federal Government in a judgment delivered recently, saying the Attorneys-General have not shown enough evidence to accord them the right to institute the action.

Ekwo in his judgment held that there was no express evidence to show that the governors of the 36 States consented to the filing of the suit.

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