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THE 36 states in Nigeria have asked Federal Government to refrain from deducting from funds accruing to them and all local government councils as liquidation for the alleged $418 million London-Paris Club loan refund-related judgment debts.

The governors stated this in a letter dated April 4 in response to a November 11, 2021 letter from the minister of finance, budget, and national planning, advertising the commencement of the deduction for the liquidation of the alleged judgment debts.

In March, the attorneys-general of the 36 states appealed a judgment that dismissed a suit seeking to restrain the federal government from effecting the planned deduction of $418 million from states’ funds.

The plaintiffs in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1313/202 sought to restrain the president and others.

The state governments said they were not parties to any suit on the London/Paris Club refund, and were thus not liable to any person or entity in any judgment debt being relied on by the federal government.

A source privy to the letter said the document was signed was by leaders of the body of attorneys-general of the federation, including the interim Chairman, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), of Lagos state, and the interim Secretary, Abdulkarim Kana of Nasarawa state, as well as the attorneys-general of Rivers, Abia, Taraba, Benue, and Zamfara states, for and on behalf of all the state attorneys-general.

“Their Excellencies have drawn our attention to your letter referenced above, which the various states of the federation received at about the end of March 2022. The letter notifies the states of your intention to commence deduction from allocations due to the states from the Federation Account for the liquidation of the London/Paris Club Loan refund-related judgment debts on behalf of the 36 States of the federation and the 774 local government councils.

Please note that the states of the federation were not parties to any contract or suits concerning the London/Paris Club refund, from which the said judgment debts arose. Consequently, the 36 Sates of the federation are not liable to any person or entity in any judgment debt,” the letter reads.