Paris Club Refund: The Court Dismisses the $47 million Consent Judgment

Against the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, a consent judgment in favor of Panic Alert Security Systems Limited was previously upheld by Justice John Tsoho, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja (NGF).

Justice Tsoho ruled on Wednesday, stating that the full consent judgment had been made without jurisdiction.

The company is one of the recipients of the $418 million paid to consultants as part of the Paris Club reimbursement to State Governments, which is believed to constitute payment for professional services. It had relied on the consent judgment to assert a claim for approximately $40 million in professional fees.

Previously, the court had barred the federal government from taking $418 million out of the 36 states’ bank accounts.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, was allegedly involved in the contentious payment, according to the state governors.

Later, the Governors’ Forum gave its attorney, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Paul Ogbole, instructions to appeal the court’s decision on the basis of the consent judgment used by the AGF.

Justice Tsoho concurred with the NGF’s attorney that the company’s requests for relief were based on a simple contract, which is ineligible for consideration by a court under section 251 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution (as amended).

In light of this, the court annulled the consent judgment.

All decisions made by the AGF, the President, the Minister of Finance, the Accountant-General of the Federation, and the Debt Management Office (DMO) regarding Panic Alert’s claims have been overturned as a result of the verdict.

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