Billionaire businessman, Prince Ned Nwoko, has accused the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) of fostering false narratives about the laudable policy of the federal government to liquidate judgement debts.
This is contained in a letter written by his team of lawyers led by Chief Joe Gadzama (SAN) to the Attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) over the $418 million judgment debts owed six individuals and entities who rendered services to states and their local governments on the payment of Paris Club debts.
This came a few days after the governors cautioned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government against going ahead with the planned payment of the sum of $418 million to some individuals and organisations for the roles they played in the Paris Club refund received by the federal government.
The governors had also warned all chief executives/managing directors and chief compliance officers of Nigeria’s commercial banks against implementing the directives to pay the said sum to the affected parties.
But in the letter to AGF Malami, Nwoko noted that “it is dishonest, deceitful and malicious for the governors to pretend that it is wrong to obey court orders,” Gadzama added.
He said categories B and C comprise of judgment debts against Ministries Departments and MDAs worth approximately US$700 million.
He drew the AGF’s attention to media reports quoting verbatim excerpts from a letter purportedly written by Lagos lawyer, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) on behalf of the NGF to the minister of Finance, Dr Zaninab Ahmed, on enforcing court judgments by issuing promissory notes to the judgment creditors.
Gadzama told Malami that his client, Nwoko, gave substantial concessions to the NGF and discounted the sum he is entitled to in the judgements being enforced.
Gadzama said it was curious that NGF through Falana has either deliberately or for reasons they cannot fathom “persisted in pushing the grave error of not distinguishing between the two judgments of the court and thereby misinforming the public and stirring unnecessary controversy that politicizes the matter.