Don’t change our allocations over $418m Paris Club Loan – States to FG

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April 18 (THEWILL) – Amid row over Paris Club loan repayment payment to consultants, the federation’s 36 states have warned the federal government not to tamper with funds owed to them and the 774 local government councils.

Deducting our money “shall be at your own risk,” the states warned in an April 4 letter.

The States were responding to the November 11, 2021 letter from the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, giving an opinion on the start of the deduction.

The States in their counter-letter stated that they were not party to any lawsuit regarding the London/Paris Club reimbursement, they are not liable to any person or entity in any judgment debt asserted by the federal government .

They warned that if the federal government made such a deduction, it would be acting illegally and in defiance of their appeal challenging the judgment.

The states response was signed by the Attorney Generals Corps of the Acting Federation President, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) of Lagos State and the Acting Secretary, Dr. Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana of Lagos State. Nasarawa.

The State Attorneys General of Rivers, Abia, Taraba, Benue and Zamfara also signed for and on behalf of all State Attorneys General.

Part of the letter reads: “Their Excellencies have drawn our attention to your letter referenced above, which the various states of the federation received towards the end of March 2022. The letter notifies the states of your intention to begin the deduction of allowances due to the States from the Federation account for the liquidation of judicial debts relating to the repayment of the London/Paris Club loan on behalf of the 36 States of the Federation and the 774 councils of local government.

“Please note that the States of the Federation were not party to any contract or lawsuit regarding the repayment of the London/Paris Club, from which the said judgment debts arose.

“Therefore, the 36 states of the federation are not liable to any person or entity for any judicial debt.”

The States have stated that the deduction of allowances owed to them from the Federation’s account to liquidate judgment debts related to the repayment of the London/Paris Club loan is the subject of an appeal filed by the 36 States before the Abuja Court of Appeal.

“The appeal challenges the judgment of the Federal High Court (by the Honorable Justice Inyang Ekwo) rendered on March 25, 2022 between AG Abia State v. President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and 42 Ors. and therefore the question is sub judice.

The states also said they filed a motion for notice of injunctive relief pending appeal.

The letter added that the body’s legal representatives had published a public warning in national daily newspapers informing the public of the pending appeal, which also advised the parties involved “to refrain from dealing with the subject matter of the appeal. the latter pending the hearing and determination of the appeal and the application”. for injunction pending appeal.

He said that in view of the above, “The law requires you to refrain from taking any action that may interfere with the rest of the prosecution, which is now under appeal.

“As a result, Nigerian case law enjoins you to refrain from making any deduction whatsoever from the allowances due to the 36 States from the Federation account for the liquidation of judicial debts relating to the repayment of the London / Paris Club loan allegedly to the name of the 36 states of the Federation and the 774 councils of local government, pending the hearing and decision of the appeal by the states of the federation. injunction pending appeal will be at your own risk.”

James V. Hayes