Federal Government has backed out of the settlement of the N3.2billion judgement debt awarded to 234 local governments of the federation.
The position of the government came from the new Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, yesterday when the case came up at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The development has fuelled speculations that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, might quiz the immediate past Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN and his finance counterpart, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo–Iweala over the matter.
The former ministers are linked with the judgement debt.
At yesterday’s court session, operatives of the EFCC were present.
One of them told Nigerian Pilot that the commission was waiting for the decision of the court to decide the course of its action.
The AGF backed out of the planned settlement talks with beneficiaries of two judgments of $3,188,079,505.96 given against the Federal Government by the Court.
Also, to be quizzed alongside the two embattled former ministers are some directors in both federal Ministry of Justice and Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, including four Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs.
The judgments were given in 2013 by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in favour of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), its consultant, Linas International Limited and some others in relation to the debts settlement agreement between the Federal Government and the Paris Club.
Also listed as beneficiaries of the judgments in the suits marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/129/2013 and FHC/ABJ/CS/130/2013 are some firms and two lawyers.
The firms are Phil-Tech Nigeria Limited, Riok Nigeria Limited, XI Nigeria Limited, Snecou Group of Companies Limited, Wells Procurement Services Limited, Systematic Engineering Limited, Prince Orji Nwafor –Orizu and Bello Olaitan Busayo.
The companies are those that ALGON purportedly awarded contracts for the provision of healthcare and security services in the affected local governments.
But a recent investigation commissioned by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) raised doubts about the legitimacy of both judgments.
The report queried the conduct of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Minister of Finance and Accountant-General of the Federation, who were defendants in the case.
It revealed how the AGF, the Minister of Finance and Accountant-General of the Federation allegedly neglected to defend both suits, which sought to deprive the country of huge sums of money, raising questions about the actual motive behind the suits.
Yesterday’s hearing of the garnishee proceedings initiated by ALGON and its consultant, Linas International, to retrieve the judgment sum from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), lawyer to the judgment creditors, Chief Joe Agi, SAN, said the AGF has backed out to allow the court decide the case.
“We took a date before today (yesterday) with a view to holding a meeting with the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF). However, on the day we were to meet, another AGF was appointed by the Federal Government.
“He (the AGF) subsequently called off the meeting and advised that he will rather await the decision of the court. So, we have come today, ready to conclude the cross-examination,” counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Agi told the court.


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