Despite a recent indictment of the Malami led Justice ministry over inability to render disbursement details of N10.4bn Judgement debt by the senate committee on public accounts, President Muhammadu Buhari, has sent a request to the red chamber for approval of payment of the controversial debts in the sum of $566,754,584.31, £98,526,012.00, and N226 billion.
The Senate had indicted the Ministry of Justice over its inability to render details on how N10.4 billion judgement debt was disbursed to the beneficiaries.

The indictment came after the consideration of 2017 and 2018 report of the Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) chaired by Senator Mathew Uhroghide.
The panel ordered the Ministry to stop further disbursement of the Judgement debt as it ordered the committee responsible for the disbursement to be re-constituted and evidence forwarded to the Auditor General and Senate Panel within 30 days.

The monies were owed by the Federal Government through the issuance of promissory notes.
So This Happened (205)…

Buhari’s letter of request was read at plenary by Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday.
Buhari in the letter said:

” Distinguished Senate President, you may wish to be informed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting of March 29, 2023 approved the liquidations of top priority judgement debts and general judgement debts owed by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) through the issuance of promissory notes.

“The judgement debts are to be settled through the issuance of promissory notes which will then be redeemed over time through provisions in the budgets of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Thus debt securities have been issued for the settlement of the judgement debts and approval of the National Assembly is required for this purpose.

“In view of the foregoing, I wish to request the Senate to kindly consider and approve through its resolution the settlement of the top priority judgement debts and general judgement debts incurred by Federal MDAs in the sum of USD566,754,584.31, £98,526,012.00 and N226,281,801,881.64 through the issuance of promissory notes.

“The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning shall provide any information that may be required by the Senate for the consideration of this request.”

There were 648 cases brought against the president and other FG parastatals in January

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), had revealed that Buhari’s regime had secured a conviction in 397 terrorism cases while 7,000 crime and anti-corruption cases had been successfully prosecuted by the government in eight years.

According to the AGF, the secured conviction was out of 3,000 terrorism-profiled charges, of which 1,500 were filed.

“A total of 7,000 cases involving various offences, including maritime, armed robbery, vandalism of electrical equipment and pipelines, financial matters, cybercrime, kidnapping, and anti-corruption, have been successfully prosecuted,” the AGF had disclosed while presenting the scorecard for the Federal Ministry of Justice from 2015 to date.

During the period under review, the AGF said significant progress had been made in response to gender-based violence, including the establishment of an inter-ministerial management committee for the eradication of SGBV cases.

He further disclosed that the government has realised the sum of N1,823,788,146.86 from the sale of forfeited properties.

In a similar vein, the AGF said that “in compliance with presidential mandates and foreign judicial processes, the Ministry had recovered the total sums of £6,324,627.66, €5,494,743.71, and $390,000,000 from various jurisdictions.
However, the indictment by the senate panel had been considered and sustained by the Senate and forwarded to Secretary to Government of the Federation for further action.

On the Judgement debt, the auditor-General Anthony Ayine’s report stated that the committee saddled with the responsibility of managing the disbursement of judgement debt was dissolved in 2013.

It said that as at the time when the N10.4bn was disbursed by the Ministry of Justice in 2017, the committee had yet to be reconstituted.

The report stated that lack of control, as witnessed in the disbursement of the judgement debt, could lead to loss of public funds

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