The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called on banks and their compliance officers to disregard the payment of the controversial $418, 953, 670. 59 to consultants.
Recall that the finance minister, Zainab Ahmed had directed DMO to issue promissory notes to contractors and consultants relating to Paris and London Club refunds despite pending court cases.
The NGF in a letter dated August 30 had through their lawyer, Femi Falana berated the minister for giving the directive despite being served with notices of appeal regarding the cases.
Another senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in a fresh letter dated September 3 signed by P.H Ogbole disclosed that the governors reiterated that the promissory notes should be disregarded.
The letter was addressed to the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), the finance minister, the director-general of the debt management office and MD/CEOS/compliance officers of all commercial banks in Nigeria.
“It must be noted that custodians and managers of public funds are public trustees and must at all times act in the public interest. In this case, the interest of all the states and local governments of the federation are involved and ought to be protected by the hon. minister of finance,” the letter stated.
“The issuance of promissory notes of a humongous sum of over $418million to private persons for alleged consultancy work demands not only caution but strict due diligence; particularly when the judgements which gave rise to the payments sought to be enforced are the subject of pending litigation.
“Matters that are sub-judice must not be acted upon in a manner that will foist a situation of complete helplessness on the courts and render their decisions nugatory.
“This caveat is therefore issued as a further notice to the honourable minister of finance and the director-general, debt management office to act in the interest of the public and refrain from foisting on the nation another case of P&ID in which but for due diligence, the nation would have been fleeced of billions of dollars.
“The nation is already going through economic adversity and every dollar is needed to be channeled to people-oriented projects. Public duty and probity demand that public trustees must, at all times, act in the interest of the people they serve in order to protect their commonwealth.
“Accordingly, justice must be allowed to run its full course.
“All Chief Executives of Banks and their compliance officers are hereby advised to desist from or otherwise not to accept for exchange or process for payment or giving value to any promissory notes issued by the DMO for purpose of satisfying alleged Paris Club consultants fees afore-mentioned.