President Muhammadu Buhari has halted the payment of the controversial $418 million to consultants over the Paris Club refund.
Despite initially approving the payment, Buhari on Thursday directed the ministry of finance to ask the Debt Management Office (DMO), which was supposed to pay in form of promissory notes, to stay action “until all the cases are exhausted”.
This is after the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, and the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives have tackled the Federal Government over plans to pay judgment debt of $418 million to consultants who facilitated its London and Paris Clubs’ debt relief.
While the NGF queried Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, for issuing promissory notes in favour of judgment creditors relating to Paris and London Club refunds, despite pending court cases, the minority caucus of the House of Representatives cautioned against the reported approval of the payment of $418 million Paris Club judgement debt by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, in a letter dated August 30 and addressed to the minister, through their lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, said the minister ought to have stayed the execution of judgment “connected with payments of legal and consultancy fees arising from London Club Debt Buy Back and London Club Debt Exit Payment, which is the fulcrum of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/130/13 – Linas International Limited & ORS V. the Federal Government of NIGERIA & ORS.