Buhari orders Senate to approve payments of $556m, £98m, N226bn judgment debts


President Muhammadu Buhari has sought the approval of the Senate over a request to pay different sums as judgment debts.

The amounts which are $566,754,584, £98,526,012 and N226 billion — are said to be owed by the federal government.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan read the president’s letter of request at the plenary session on Wednesday.

Recall that the Office of the Auditor-General (OAGF) accused the Ministry of Justice of not following due process in the disbursement of funds allocated for judgment debts.

The OAGF report said between 2017 and 2018, N10.4 billion was earmarked as judgment debts, and the sum was spent without a committee required for that purpose.

The report said the last time the ministry had such a committee was in 2013.

The report indicted Abubakar Malami, who has been the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) since 2015.

Senator representing Edo South, Matthew Uhroghide chaired the senate public accounts committee which evaluated the OAGF’s report.

The report said if the practice is allowed to continue, the federal government would lose funds earmarked to pay judgment debts.

The Senate agreed with the OAGF that the Justice Ministry should stop the payment of the funds and inaugurate a committee for that purpose immediately.