The Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF has accused the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami of acting based on personal interest concerning the refund of the Paris Club from the governors. Malami has today revealed that the Governors have no reason to reject the proposed deductions of the $418million Paris club refund they collected from the central bank as a bailout fund, as the AGF noted that the consultant's claim was justified. The Governors had met yesterday to discuss the matter and come up with a communiqué saying that all the claims by the AGF were premised on personal interest and fraud.
The Ekiti state Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on behalf of the Governors made this claim, saying that the Governors are resolute to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion in the highest court of law.
The communiqué partly reads; “Governors extensively reviewed the purported attempts by the attorney-general of the federation and the minister of finance, to circumvent the law and a recent judgment of the supreme court to secure the approval of the federal legislative council to effect illegal payment of a sum of $418 million to contractors who allegedly executed consultancy in respect to the Paris Club refund, to state and local governments.
“The forum set up a committee comprising the chairman, the governor of Ekiti state, the vice chairman, the governor of Ondo State, the governor of Plateau State, the governor of Nasarawa state, and the governor of Ebonyi State to interface with the committee set up by Mr. President to review the matter.
“But the position of the Governors’ Forum is clear and unequivocal. Although this matter is subjudice and we are very reluctant to get in the way of a matter that is still being pursued in court. We’re constrained by the manner in which the honorable attorney has been going around various media houses and purporting to create the impression that this is a liability to which governors had committed themselves and agreed, even though he is very much aware that that’s not the case.
The statement added, “And we reject all of the claims that he has made on this issue. And we also insist that the state will not give up on insisting that these purported claims are fraudulent and will not stand as far as governors are concerned and we would take every constitutional and legal means to ensure that these purported consultancies are fully litigated by the highest court in the land.
The Governors demanded that “If the courts now fine governors, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and state liable, then we will cross that bridge when get there.”
The Governor's forums revealed that by the time the issue is dissected in the public glare, Malami's interest will be laid bare for all to see.