Nigeria’s House Minority Caucus demands probe of $418m judgment debts

Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has called for investigation into the payment of the $418 million Paris Club refund-related judgment debts to six creditors, which was recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, despite widespread national objection by stakeholders, including state governors, chairmen of local governments and anti-graft agencies.

The lawmakers in a statement by its leader Hon. Ndudi Elumelu said president Buhari should note that the payment was cloudy, opaque, adding that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should investigate the matter.

The lawmakers insisted that the objection raised by the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) and the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, (NGF), in calling for forensic audit into the claims by the creditors, must be taken into consideration.

The house caucus therefore called on Buhari to immediately halt the payment processes until after the investigations.

They stated: “As lawmakers, our caucus insists that the approval to funnel out $418 million out of the national treasure under such hazy consent judgment and in the absence of the forensic audit, smacks of an endorsement of corruption.

“Our caucus urges President Buhari not to allow himself to be misled or entangled in this nebulous enterprise but to listen to the state governors and allow for the audit, particularly on the particulars of claims by creditors as well as the circumstances leading to the suspicious consent judgement.

“The Minority caucus demands that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice should avail himself of the audit to bring the processes and circumstances surrounding the judgment debt to public glare.

“The caucus maintains that the audit should unravel those behind the consent judgment, the propriety of such measures as well as why the objection by the governors was ignored.”

 

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