PRINCE NED MUNIR NWOKO:
STORY OF A PATRIOT.
HOW HE SECURED THE PARIS CLUB REFUNDS.
By Frank Iroroh.
In conclusion of this series, effort is made to give readers clear details on how Prince Ned Nwoko burst irregularities in Nigeria’s foreign loan repayment schedules, which yielded substantial refunds of several billions US dollars to the country, through the Paris Club Refunds.
Looking at Nigeria today, finding a genuine patriot has become increasingly difficult, as corruption at the highest level of leadership appears to define outlook to state issues.
But, out of the ashes of scepticism and ballooning sceptre of doubt, has arisen a rare patriot who devoted substantial amount of expertise to work towards making positive impacts in the economic field, which eventually stem the rising tide of economic downturn in the country.
This rare patriot is Prince Ned Munir Nwoko, an international legal luminary who initiated effort to secure the Paris Club Refunds.
The monetary value of Refunds runs into several billions of United States Dollars and these funds have on several occasions, helped to ameliorate the biting economic recession in 36 states of the Federation, and helped to reduce the slide of Nigeria’s economy into deep recession.
Uncovering Refunds can only be done by a man with a sharp eagle eyes, genius, and with absolute patriotism.
In fact, it is best to say that it takes a patriotic genius to constructively devote his skills and talents articulating procedures resulting in substantial benefit to the entire country.
What makes the entire scenario appear like the making of a heroic patriot is that it took Prince Ned Nwoko many years of cumbersome paper work, trips across the globe, and conversations with creditors, for this endeavor to succeed.
Prince Ned Nwoko, while addressing newsmen in his Idumuje Ugboko, Castle, the Lilly House, on July 25, 2017, narrated how the entire exercise became a reality.
His words, “I have travelled all over the whole world; I also studied, practiced law in the most civilized part of the world, and I was able to foresee things, I knew what was going wrong, the abnormal things the average man may not see. Also, I am a detailed person, I see what is up there and what is down, that demonstrates the interest I have in seeing things done properly, not just to be done, but done properly”.
This global legal icon did not mince words in affirming clearly that the Paris Club Loan Refunds, hailed in different fora and specifically in public space is brainchild of Idumuje Ugboko Prince Ned Nwoko.
“I did it with my own initiative and using my law firm, Ned Nwoko Solicitors and my company, Linas International limited”, he asserted.
Continuing, he said, “the process was not an easy one, it involved two angles. I used Linas International to secure Refunds from multilateral lenders, and Ned Nwoko Solicitors to secure Refunds of wrongful deductions to States and Local Governments.”
Speaking on how the loans came about, he said, “States took different loans for different purposes. There were no uniform loans but most of the lenders were either London group of banks or Paris group of banks, or what you call the multilateral lenders, like World Bank, International Monetary Fund, IMF, or European Union”, he explained.
“In the course of executing this cumbersome task, I discovered servicing of the loans were not handled properly, for instance, the federal government will go to London or Paris and say they are rescheduling loans, but when they reschedule the loans, they add interests, add penalties, add things that were not in the original agreement.”
He further said, “Well, while the battle was on, we encountered series of hostility from the creditor nations. Some countries felt we were impugning their national integrity and threatened to severe diplomatic relations with Nigeria. Some of them sent security agents to go after us, some employed acts of blackmail and tried to compromise us. Some even went extent to convince the then Obasanjo administration to instigate security agencies against us, we were even arrested and after investigating us, the agencies had to apologize to us. Some officials of Federal Government who felt we were meddling into their forte also built walls around us. It became an uphill task to obtain the required data, vital documents we needed as forensic evidence to support our work.”
“But as an international legal firm, we had worked for some countries in Africa especially, West Africa. The countries engaged our firm to assist verify the process of repayment of their foreign loans and in auditing the process we discovered that there were unethical things that had taken place, with that as our background, we approached some state governments to act as their consultants to verify the issue of repayment of the foreign loans. We entered into legally binding agreements with some of the states and as we progressed, the other states and Local Governments became interested.
Explaining how States and Local Governments got involved in the Refunds, he said, “for instance, under what was called ‘the doctrine of collective sacrifice’ the Federal Ministry of Finance deducts funds at source from the Federation account for debt servicing before sharing the balance as allocation to States and Local Governments. The implication of this procedure was that some states that were not in existence when the foreign loans were contracted suddenly found themselves making repayments for loans that they did not contract. The 774 Local governments that never contracted any foreign loan were grouped into the repayments.”
Giving classical example of such discrepancies, he added, “during our investigation, we found that some of the loans were of dubious origin, for example, the old Gongola State was listed as having contracted $100million as foreign loan from an Austrian bank to build an international hotel. But in the process of our investigation, the bank wrote to say that it had no business relation in Africa, let alone in Nigeria. This was how we uncovered the irregularities in the Paris Club Refunds which led to the cancellation of the Nigeria’s foreign debt by the multilateral lenders and the refunds of over deductions during Obasanjo administration.” he stated.
Not satisfied with bursting the shaddy deals in the Paris Club loan repayments, the global legal icon, Prince Ned Nwoko, went further to look into how the Federal Government was using the revenue accruing to all the States and Local Governments to service loans they never contracted.
Hear him, “the last one I did was a 3.2billion dollars against the federal government. I do not come fighting the federal government, I fight for the masses and that has been my motivation. So, I am very satisfied that this refund which I secured is what is surviving the whole federation”. He concluded.
You have heard it from the Horse’s mouth, the Refunds are the making of Prince Ned Munir Nwoko, any claim otherwise is dubious.
Rightly, Nigeria is in the present mess because mediocrity has taken over leadership,
The ugly situation bedeviling Nigeria can only be tackled headlong and conquered conclusively and meaningfully, when patriotic experts like Prince Ned Munir Nwoko, bring their creativity and rare talents to bear in the service of the collective public good of Nigeria by articulating practicable measures to addressing boiling issues on ground.
Make Nigeria Rise Again; Support Prince Ned Nwoko for Senate 2019.