A civil society organisation (CSO), Competent Governance for Accountability and Civic Trust (CGACT), has faulted the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, for chastising Ned Nwoko for laying claims to $418 million of the Paris Club Refund for his legal services.
The organisation noted that the money was actually $68 million and not the $418 million which the governor had quoted.
This was stated by CGACT’s executive director (programmes), Ambassador Godwin Erheriene, at a press conference held Sunday in Abuja.
He said, “When have demands for professional fees duly sanctioned by statutory authorities and scrutinised by anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC and DSS become fraud? We are appalled by Wike’s wild goose chase. This is a legitimate entitlement of Hon. Ned Nwoko, whose patriotic ingenuity as a time-honoured lawyer, secured billions of dollars in favour of local and state governments including Wike’s administration as a beneficiary.
“Governor Nyesom Wike received a whopping share of over N60 billion as part of the Paris Club refunds to states; thanks to the sterner stuff of Hon. Ned Nwoko who took the federal government to court on behalf of the states and local governments and won to stop the arbitrary deductions.”
The group accused the governor of orchestrating “cheap media blackmail against a patriot who has contributed immensely to the judiciary sector, when he was at the National Assembly, Green Chamber.”
“His love for Nigeria made him champion the Paris Club Refunds via his international legal firm which helped the Nigerian Government recover billions of dollars. Hon. Ned Nwoko has contributed heavily to the development of this country compared to so many political officers who waste public funds on unnecessary projects. It’s time we started to appreciate hard work in this country so that others can emulate them to contribute their own quota to the development of this country. If we keep towing this line of political witch-hunt and the ‘let’s bring him down syndrome,’ for envious reasons, we will never get it right. It’s time we started to encourage those that truly mean well for this country.”