Interim Management Committee, IMC of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON has frowned at the Federal Government’s approval of payment of $418 million to consultants and contractors for the roles they played in the repatriation of the Paris Club refund.
While asking the federal government to halt all payments, the IMC reminded the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration that the move is against its agenda to nip corruption in the bud.
The IMC in a suit filed in the Federal High Court dated September 1, 2021, via the motion of notice in suit no M/5474/2021 and also Writ of Summon in suit no CV/2185/2021, challenged the FG, Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Justice, Debt Management Office, Economic, and Financial Crimes Commission and the Chief Registrar of the High Court, for their involvement in approving promissory notes of payments in the sum of US$142,028,941.95, US$ 1,219,440.45, US$ 215, 195.36, to RIOK Nigeria Ltd, Prince Nwafor Orizu, Barr. Olaitan Bello, respectively.
The IMC recalled that President Buhari had approved the payment of the controversial amounts in Paris Club refund-related judgment debts to consultants, without considering the calls for a forensic audit into the claims of the creditors and the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“The Minister of Finance, on the order of the President is said to have directed the Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO) to issue Promissory Notes 12th August 2021 in favor of the consultants and contractors. The purported amounts claimed by the various consultants are as follow: Ned Nwoko –US$68,658,193.83; Ted Iseghoghi Edwards -$159 million; Riok Nigeria Limited $142,028,941.95, prince Orji Nwafor Orizu US$1,219,440.45, and Olaitan Bello – US$215,195.36 and Panic Alert System Limited and George Uboh – $47,831,920,” the IMC listed.
In the suit filed the ALGON-IMC, asked the court to grant an order to dissuade the Minister of Finance and other parties the debt management office, the accountant general of the federation, and the chief registrar o from issuing, handing over, or releasing any promissory note or banking instrument of transfer to the consultants and contractors.
The IMC questioning the basis for the approval of payments demanded that the contractors should provide proofs of the allegedly executed projects in any of the 774 local government areas to back up their claims to such an enormous amount of monies.
“The IMC cannot sit down and watch constant extortion being perpetrated in the name and with the name of the association, the situation at hand is very germane and requires immediate attention, hence the purpose for this address.
“The President should not water down his fight against corruption by not following due process to seek documented evidence/proofs of the projects, contracts allegedly executed by these consultants.
“We heavily frown at the stance of the president approving payments for underperforming self-made consultants, this action if honored will cause irreparable damage to the third tier of government.
“Every money be it dollar or naira should be channeled to people-oriented projects as the nation is already going through economic challenges,” the IMC added.
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