Nwoko’s lawyers fault NGF on Paris Club refunds

Counsels to Lintas International, a company belonging to international lawyer and politician, Ned Nwoko, have faulted what they alleged was a deceitful narrative about the ongoing enforcement of court judgments on Paris Club Refunds by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), saying the court cannot grant a stay of execution of a judgment that has been executed.

In a letter to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, dated September 6, 2021, the legal team said: “The NGF is misconceived about its powers and rights as prescribed by Section 165 of the 1999 Constitution over matters surrounding local government funds.”

The lawyers, led by Joe Gadzama, SAN, include Ken Njemanze, SAN, Jeph Njikonye, SAN, Onyeka Nwokolo, and Tim Odaah.

The lawyers said: “The facts and circumstances of the case at hand, with respect to suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/130/ 2013, is entirely different from local government funds coming from allocations to the Federation Account. The funds involved in this case were judgment sums recovered from the Federal Government by Linas International Limited in favour of local governments.

“In the past few days, the news and social media have been awash with skewed interpretations, false narratives about the ongoing enforcement of court judgments arising from several cases with diverse factual basis, but all related to the Paris Club Refunds through the issuance of promissory notes to the judgment creditors.

“It is dishonest, deceitful and malicious to pretend that it is wrong to obey court orders. It is surprising that the body of governors, who are largely of the same party as the President and Commander-in-Chief, are the ones condemning him for enforcing valid court judgments.

“We read in the newspapers different headlines on the matter. The frequency with which letters about claims of lawsuits on behalf of the NGF on this subject is released to the press betrays the intention and scheme of the NGF to suppress the facts, confuse and abuse public opinion in order to continue its resistance in taking responsibility to pay for services rendered.

“The court cannot grant a stay of execution on a judgment that has been executed. Contrary to the impression created in the letter quoted in the publication under reference and other publications, there is no order of court ordering the Federal Ministry of Finance to stay execution of the judgment being enforced.”

“It is expedient to recall that on July 7, 2017, governors under the auspices of the NGF set up a committee and engaged with several consultants, including our client at the Plateau Government Lodge, Asokoro, where some of these consultancies where interrogated.

Furthermore, the NGF was part of the processes that culminated in the enforcement of the court judgment in suit No. FHC/ ABJ/CS/130/2013 leading to the refunds to local governments and part payment of the consultancy fees of Linas International Limited by the Federal Government in 2018.”

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