The federal government declared on Thursday that the state governors’ arguments against the over $418 million deductions from the Paris Club refund that they paid to consultants they hired were without merit.
This information was made available to the media by Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, at the 46th State House Ministerial Briefing, which the Presidential Communications Team hosted at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja.
Malami responded to inquiries about the matter by stating that the governors were also indemnified for the payment of the liability, which they had initially created.
He explained that when the Nigeria Governors’ Forum requested the refund, one of the conditions was the settlement of the consultants it engaged.
He noted that when the refund was paid to the states, a part payment was also made to the consultants. But the governors eventually halted payment, requesting an out-of-court settlement instead.
According to Malami, the governors’ decision promoted a request to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to disburse the payments.
The request, he explained, was forwarded to the Office of the Attorney-General for its legal counsel.
After running the required checks, the AGF’s Office spotted no elements of fraud involved, Malami said.
According to him, the indemnity of the governors was also sought and received.
“That was when we agreed that the payment should be made,” he stated.
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