Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF)

Following the release of the second tranche of about N645,500,000,000 billion Paris Fund to the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), an Abuja-based law firm, KACCL, has filed a pre-action notice over refusal of the forum to pay its consultancy fee.

KACCL is one of the consultants engaged by the forum to facilitate the payment of the fund.

Raphael Oyewole, a lawyer in the law firm, endorsed the letter of demand and pre-action notice, dated December 14, 2018, which was addressed to the Director General of the NGF.

In the letter entitled: “Re-Request for payment of our consultancy fee from the second and last tranche payment of the Paris Club refund”, which also served as pre-action notice, the law firm threatened to take a legal action against the forum if the said fee is not paid.

In the notice, KACCL said it would sue the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and a foreign consultant partner, Yer Lawrence and United Global Resolve for Peace.

The law firm further stated that it was joining the AGF and Ministry of Finance in the proposed suit considering the supervisory role they played in the disbursement of the fund.

Trouble arose when NGF said that it would not pay the consultant fee for the second tranche of the money recently paid.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by judiciary correspondents in Abuja on Monday, reads in part: “Please further recall that we were engaged as a consultant to the Forum and the role played by us in recovering the total sum paid to the Forum as a refund was largely strategic and behind the scene.

“All in all, we ensured that the interest of all the member-states was protected and all necessary entitlement paid.

“It is crystal clear that the agreement reached on June 6, 2018, was for the payment of our consultancy fee on the first tranche of the Paris Club Refund already paid and ascertainable.

“Howbeit, it is unreasonable for us as a consultant to demand and/or request for payment on an uncompleted transaction or futuristic recoveries.

Hence, the payment made to us was only for the first tranche of the Paris Club Refund recovered through collective efforts of the appointed consultants one of which we are.”

The law firm, however, demanded for the payment of its consultancy fee for the second and last tranche of the Paris Club Refund totalling N645,500,000,000 billion, which was recently paid to the member-states of the NGF.

More so, KACCL notified the Forum that failure to pay the said sum within 30 days of receipt of the letter, shall leave it with the option of seeking redress before a court of law in recovering its fees without further recourse to the Forum.

The firm said it would join the CBN as the warehouse of the fund.

In addition, the firm noted that the EFCC would be joined in the suit, having recovered and being in custody of some properties and part of the funds misappropriated.

The firm is equally joining Lawrence and UGRP, being its strategic partners, who acted as consultants under the firm and presently in demand of their fees and expenditure.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that the EFCC has waded into the issue and had seized some properties and part of the money alleged to have been misappropriated.

Arising from the non-payment, it was further gathered that one of the foreign consultant had approached a London court seeking to attach a Nigerian property.

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