InterOcean Oil Deal: US Tribunal Relieves FG Of $1.5b Liability

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister Of Justice, Abubakar Malami (File Photo).

 

 

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute has relieved Nigeria of $1.5 billion and awarded an arbitration cost of $660,000.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister Of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

According to the statement, the tribunal has absolved Nigeria from any liability, noting that the country did not breach her obligations in the contract agreement with Interocean Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company under the Nigerian law or under international law.

“The tribunal finds no liability on the part of the respondent in connection with claimants’ loss of control over their investment, pan-ocean,” the statement read in part.

Mr Malami described the judgment as an addition to the multiple success stories recorded in international litigations by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Read Full Statement Below.

FG Relieved of $1.5b liability, Gains $660,000 Arbitration Cost

The US-Based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute headed by Professor William Park ordered InterOcean to pay the Federal Government of Nigeria Six-hundred and sixty thousand one hundred and twenty-nine United State Dollars and eighty-seven cents (USD 660,129.87) as reimbursement of its share of the arbitration costs incurred in the proceedings.

The Tribunal also absolves the Federal Government of Nigeria from any liability maintaining that Nigeria did not breach any of its obligations in the contract agreement with Interocean Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company.

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday 7th day of October, 2020.

The oil companies that has among its legal team, Mr. Olasupo Shasore, SAN requested, among others, relief from the Tribunal directing the Federal Government of Nigeria, its relevant privies and instrumentalities to pay aggravated damages in an amount to be proven during these arbitral proceedings which the Claimants estimate at being in excess of US$ 1.5 Billion (One Billion Five hundred Million United States Dollars).

According to the statement the judgment which was delivered yesterday, the Tribunal finds that the Federal of Government of Nigeria has not breached its obligations toward Claimants under Nigerian law or under international law.

“The Tribunal finds no liability on the part of Respondent in connection with Claimants’ loss of control over their investment, Pan Ocean,” the Judgment reads in part.

Commenting on the development, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami,SAN described the judgment as an addition to the multiple success stories recorded in international litigations by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Malami who renewed commitment to patriotically and relentlessly discharge his constitutional mandates in the best interest of the nation and general public said gone was such an era of connivance to deprive the nation of its resources for gratifying ulterior motives of vested interest at the expense of the Nigeria populace.

Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu
(Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations
Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice)
Wednesday, 7th day of October, 2020

FG Launches Central Database For Recovered Stolen Assets

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo of Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, during an interview on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

 

The Federal Government has launched a central database for the management of recovered assets.

The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami during the launch on Thursday, in Abuja, said all the assets that have been recovered by the Federal Government are now tied to specific projects.

The launch was witnessed by officials from government agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

READ ALSO: FG Approves Establishment Of New Anti-Corruption Agency

In his remark ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye said all anti-corruption agencies should be digitised and integrated for easy access.

He adds that the idea of the central database system is to ensure that all anti-corruption agencies harmonise all recovered assets.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice had earlier in December 2019 told journalists in Abuja that a central database will be created for the management of recovered assets stolen from the country.

He stressed that the war against corruption in the country by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is devoid of any political or ethnic sentiments.

P&ID: FG Yet To Pay $200m Bond To UK Court, Says Malami

 

The Federal Government has revealed that the bank guarantee of $200 million placed with a United Kingdom court to secure a stay on asset seizures of up to $9 billion related to the case against an Irish firm, Process, and Industrial Development (P&ID), has not been paid.

P&ID, a firm based in the British Virgin Islands, won a $6.6 billion arbitration award against the Nigerian government after the 2010 gas project collapsed.

The award accrued interest since 2013 and is now worth more than $9 billion.

According to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the Federal Government has filed an application for the variation of the order by a high court in London.

He maintained that the ruling which would have converted the arbitration award and see P&ID seize the government assets has been appealed, including the ruling for conditional lodgement of the said amount.

“Nigeria has not paid and we filed an application for the variation of the order to allow us perhaps to consider the possibility of posting a bank guarantee against posting cash deposit.

“The order for the deposit for such amount of money and the appeal component is being considered at the superior court of record, but one thing I want to place on record is that Nigeria has not paid the amount in contention and has challenged the order as it relates to the posting of cash deposits,” Mr. Malami stated.

RELATED: P&ID Case: Investigation Shows That $301m Was Used For Under-Hand Dealings – Malami

The Justice Minister also stressed that the Federal Government has succeeded in putting up a case that the conditional lodgement of such amount should now be reviewed, a move he said, is being considered at the appellate level.

Stressing further, Mr Malami gave insight on what the Federal Government has done to ensure that such errors are not committed in subsequent deals.

Mr Malami said that a repeat of that will not occur in the Buhari-led Federal Government, as moves to tighten the processes have been developed and will be implemented henceforth.

“The first thing that has been done is to ensure that there are consequences for wrongdoing and those elements in respect of which investigations have been concluded, were charged, arraigned before the court and convicted.

“As well, we have taken steps to tighten our processes with particular reference to ensuring that things are done rightly; if a company is coming to establish a project in Nigeria, relevant associated permits and approvals must be obtained.

“If certain structures are being placed, there must be evidence of land acquisition, if an agreement is needed involving the government and its interest, that agreement must be allowed to pass through the process of vetting in the office of the Attorney General by the relevant departments and then if indeed the draft agreement is okayed, it has to pass through the Federal Executive Council for consideration, deliberation, and eventual approval before committing the government in the process,” the justice minister added.

The AGF also clarified that the Federal Government has secured a three-leg victory in the P&ID case and there is no iota of truth that the moves in response to overturn the judgment are slow.

Nigeria on September 3, secured a landmark victory in its pursuit to overturn a $10 billion judgment awarded against it in a case against P&ID in a failed gas deal in 2010.

P&ID Case: Investigation Shows That $301m Was Used For Under-Hand Dealings – Malami

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that ongoing investigation has revealed that about $301 million was given as under-hand dealings to some persons in a bid to hide the illegality of the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) gas supply and processing deal.

The Federal Government, during the administration of Late President Umaru Yar’adua in 2010, signed a contract with P&ID to build a gas supply and processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State capital, a contract the President Muhammadu Buhari government has said is a result of fraud and corruption.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Mr Malami stated that the latest ruling of a court in the United Kingdom, overturning a $10 billion judgement awarded against it, is a result of the progress made from the investigation.

Mr Malami stated that some principal characters that were investigated have been arraigned and there have been certain convictions recorded.

He added that within the government employ, some retired staff have been alleged to benefit from the deal and the investigation will reveal their level of involvement.

“As much as I wouldn’t want to be pre-emptive, the fact still remains that at the local level, some of the principal characters were being investigated, and some were not only investigated but were arraigned and then there were certain convictions recorded.

“Within the official cycles of government, some have retired, and they are being alleged to have been involved in under-hand dealing as it relates to within the region of $301 million.

“The investigation has re-affirmed the fact that there were certain under-hand dealings to the tune of $301 million,” Mr Malami stressed.

READ ALSO: Rivers Govt Warns Organised Labour Against Disobeying Court Order

The Justice Minister added that the Federal Government is still carrying out more investigations beyond the shores of the country because further findings show that the contract which was signed in 2010, did not follow due diligence.

“There were arraignments, there were convictions and indeed, monies were established to change hands as a basis for inducement that eventually resulted into compromises on processes, compromises on the procedure and then, failure on the part of the officials of government to do the needful in terms of ensuring that the interest of the nation is protected.

“The due diligence relating to P&ID was not adequately undertaken as at the time of signing the agreement, but arising from the investigation, we have taken time to conduct and expand our investigative capacity to other jurisdiction inclusive of the US and there is nothing establishing greater financial strength capacity on the part of P&ID right from the onset either in Nigeria and the Virgin Island.”

Giving a further breakdown of the contract, Mr Malami maintained that the agreement was not allowed to pass through the office of the Attorney General, while associated approvals and permits were not obtained from the Federal Executive Council and the Department of Petroleum Resources.

He stated that the arbitral proceeding claiming that Nigeria should pay P&ID $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest at 7 percent, amounting to $9.6b judgment plus interest, is a result of fraud and corruption.

I Don’t Need ‘More Powers’ To Supervise EFCC, Other Agencies, Says AGF

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said he does not need the tinkering of the current Economic and Financial Crime (Establishment) Act 2004 to enable him regulate the institution and could therefore not, in any way, seek to sponsor any bill for “more powers to control the commission”.

The AGF was quoted to have said this in a statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday 25th August 2020.

It also noted that the Attorney-General of the Federation has indisputable statutory powers to regulate the operations of the commission without recourse to any additional legislations.

Read Also: Rivers Govt Warns Organised Labour Against Disobeying Court Order

“Section 43 of the EFCC Act has made it abundantly clear that ‘the Attorney General of the Federation may make rules or regulations with respect to the exercise of any of the duties, functions or powers of the Commission under this Act’,” the statement read in part.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice believes in the doctrines of separation of powers as an epitome character of the democratic administration and could not, therefore, meddle into the affairs of the legislature for megalomaniac sake”.

Speaking further, Malami noted that it is a global practice in democratic societies that the legislature may at their discretion and as deemed fit, spearhead the amendment of existing legislation to accommodate certain exigencies occasioned by contemporary realities and the need to improve performance to achieve best practices without any prompting from external organs of the government.

The statement, therefore added that at the moment, the priority of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is to see to the effective execution of its statutory mandates of supervising all the parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Justice in a way that make them function in the best interest of the general public.

P&ID Case: Agbakoba Asks Malami To Consider Review Of Arbitration Legal Framework

A photo combination of Mr Olisa Agbakoba and Mr Abubakar Malami.

 

The Vice President of the Nigeria Institute of Arbitration, Olisa Agbakoba, has called for the emplacement of a national arbitration policy and a transformational review of the legal framework relating to arbitration in the country.

He made the call in a statement on Friday while reacting to the judgement of a court in the United Kingdom on the case involving the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID).

Agbakoba specifically made the recommendation to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.

This comes after Ross Cranston, a judge of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, granted Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions, in the nation’s bid to overturn a $10 billion judgement awarded against it.

Agbakoba, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), believes this will prevent the question of reference to foreign arbitration in cases where all the connecting factors are Nigerian – such as the P&ID case.

He commended the judgement of the UK court which he said has prevented Nigeria from paying $10 billion out of its lean purse to essentially crooked Irish persons.

President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated party consultative committee on August 31, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated party consultative committee on August 31, 2020.

 

According to the SAN, the Muhammadu Buhari administration deserves to be applauded for a well-fought legal battle.

He added that it was commendable that the country successfully persuaded the judge that English public policy would oppose the unwitting use of the English courts as an engine of fraud, merely because Nigeria failed to challenge the award in good time.

Read the full statement by the former NBA president below:

PRESS RELEASE!

The decision by Sir Ross Cranston, sitting as a Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High court of England, on section 66/ 67 application by Nigeria for extension of time to challenge the Arbitral award in favour of Process and industrial development, is welcome news for us all, otherwise, Nigeria would pay 10 billion dollars out of its lean purse to essentially crooked Irish persons.

The story of the massive fraud on Nigeria by these Irish does not need repeat. What is so tragic is the collusion by an entire Government supporting, wittingly or not, what transpired.

The Government of President Buhari deserves full marks for a well-fought legal battle, at least to this stage to persuade the English Judge, that even though Nigeria was well out of time to challenge the award, that on the basis of massive fraud in which the conduct of Nigeria’s counsel at Arbitration, was in issue, Nigeria successfully persuaded the Judge that English public policy would oppose the unwitting use of the English courts as an engine of fraud, merely because Nigeria failed to challenge the Award in good time.

The English Judge had no difficulty to declare that as a result of fraud by Process and Industrial, that Nigeria will be allowed time to prove it.

This sets the path for a potential overturn of the fraudulent award in the English courts.

As I salute Abubakar Malami SAN, learned Attorney-General of the Federation, I will invite him to consider the emplacement of a National Arbitration policy and a transformational review of the legal framework relating to Arbitration, so that in cases, such as this, where all the connecting factors are Nigerian, there will no question of reference to foreign Arbitration.

Olisa Agbakoba SAN

Vice President, Nigeria Institute of Arbitration.

Nigeria Is Pleased With Court Ruling On P&ID Case – FG

A file photo of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

 

The Nigeria Government says it is pleased with the ruling of a court in the United Kingdom on the case involving the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID).

The government’s reaction was contained in a statement on Friday by Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

This comes after Ross Cranston, a judge of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, granted Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions, in the nation’s bid to overturn a $10 billion judgement awarded against it.

“This is a major victory in our ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID, to overturn the injustice of the multi-billion-dollar arbitral award,” the statement said.

It added, “In light of the new and substantive evidence presented regarding P&ID’s fraudulent and corrupt activities, the court has granted our application for an extension of time to hear our challenge out of normal time limits.”

The court, according to the statement, has allowed the government to bring its challenge well outside the normal time limits, due to the exceptional circumstances where Nigeria has uncovered evidence of massive fraud in procuring the award.

It noted that the court heard evidence from Nigeria and the offshore shell company P&ID in relation to the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA), which the parties entered into 10 years ago but was said to have been never performed.

The statement noted that the Muhammadu Buhari administration inherited the dispute from the previous administration and only recently uncovered evidence that the GSPA was “a sham commercial deal designed to fail from the start, and that its subsequent arbitral award was based on fraud and corruption”.

It said Nigeria relied on several ongoing investigations across multiple jurisdictions, including the United States, to build its case while new evidence was presented during Friday’s hearing to further support the nation’s challenge.

Following the ruling of the court, the government said it would proceed to a full trial of the issues, where Nigeria’s substantive application to finally set aside the award would be heard.

It insisted that it was confident of recording a major success in the case, considering that Nigeria’s exceptional circumstances application, to have its challenge taken well outside the normal time limits was upheld on account of uncovered evidence of massive fraud in procuring the award.

“The Federal Government will now proceed to a full hearing of our fraud challenge in the coming months.

“Investigations into the GSPA are ongoing, and we are firmly committed to overturning the award – no matter how long it takes – to ensure that this money goes towards Nigeria’s future, not into the pockets of millionaires trying to exploit our country,” the statement added.

Magu Probe: Malami Denies Conspiracy To Witch-Hunt Anybody

A file photo of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has denied the allegation of conspiring to witch-hunt anyone.

Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, faulted the claim in a statement on Monday.

He was reacting to the comments made by a lawyer, Victor Giwa, who claimed that the minister ordered his arrest because he refused to implicate Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Giwa made the allegation in a statement on Sunday entitled, ‘Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) Is Using Donald Wokoma, My Erstwhile Client Against Me For My Refusal To Testify And Indict Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of EFCC, At The Justice Ayo Salami Panel Investigating The EFCC Boss’.

He explained that he was invited by the Justice Ayo Salami led panel, which is investigating the corruption allegations against the suspended EFCC boss, on August 18 and 19.

The lawyer, among many other claims, said he was asked to testify against Magu through an alleged conspiracy between the AGF and Donald Wokoma, a former special adviser to the Vice President whom he said he represented and secured a judgement in his favour.

But Gwandu described the allegation against the minister as ‘flimsy’, stressing that they were untrue.

According to him, Malami never met with Giwa and has never discussed any issue with Wokoma, nor asked anybody, personally or by proxy, to engage Giwa to testify against Magu.

Ibrahim Magu, EFCC Chairman, Senate
A file photo of acting EFCC chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu.

 

The minister’s spokesman insisted that Malami, who did not set up the investigation panel to probe the suspended EFCC boss, was not saddled with any responsibility to procure witnesses for the panel.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation is never a member of the panel nor does it fall within the realm of the AGF’s authority to invite witness(es) for a presidential probe panel.

“The claim by Victor Giwa, Esq is therefore fictitious, unfounded and a figment of the imagination of mischief-makers who want to create unnecessary attention and tarnish the good image of the Attorney-general of the Federation and Minister of Justice and labouring incessantly these days, to falsely cast aspersion on the AGF’s hard-earned reputation,” Gwandu stated.

He, however, challenged Giwa to come and substantiate his allegation with details of when he met with the AGF on the issue, where they met, and how the meeting went.

Gwandu also asked the lawyer to answer whether the minister met him in person or sent a representative, in what capacity was the representative if there was any, and what the terms of their engagement were.

He asked Giwa to reveal what the purported offer to testify against Magu was, how it was made, as well as to name who the witnesses were.

Malami Writes Buhari, Denies Corruption Allegations

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has denied corruption allegations levelled against him.

 

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, denying the allegations of corruption levelled against him.

This follows a call from a coalition of Civil Society Organisations asking President Buhari to probe the AGF over 14 high-profile corruption cases and calling for his resignation.

The allegations levelled against Malami, by the CSOs include “financial fraud” and “influence peddling”, as well as “illegally” auctioning sea vessels holding crude oil seized by the Federal Government.

But the minister wrote to the presidency, insisting that he had declared all his assets and statements of accounts upon his assumption of office.

READ ALSO: Why Insurgents Are Recruiting More Members – North-East Governors

He writes, “Since my appointment as a Minister in your cabinet, I have conducted myself strictly within the confines of the Code of Conduct for public officers contained in part 1 of the fifth schedule of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended.”

“It is to be noted that apart from my successful legal practice of more than 20 years, seven of which were as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), before my appointment, I have as allowed by law had interests in business ventures, all of which I had resigned from active participation upon my appointment,” he added.

Also in the letter, the Minister said he has also decided to seek redress in court.

The Minister has been accused of being behind the ordeals of the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, after criticising some of his actions.

Magu, who was quizzed by the Department of State Services (DSS) on July 6, was made to appear before a panel of the Federal Government set up to investigate the allegations of corruption levelled against him.

The panel led by the retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami grilled Magu for about 10 days before granting him bail on July 15.

Following Magu’s reported arrest, many Nigerians and groups reacted to the development, with some commending the Federal Government’s approach to the war against corruption.

Although Magu denied any wrongdoing, a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Femi Odekunle said the DSS invitation is a power play by blocs in the corridor of power.

According to the PACAC member, Magu was only invited for questioning regarding some purported memo by the Minister of Justice.

He explained that the Presidential Advisory Committee perceives Malami as the arrowhead of the bloc that is not really interested in President Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.

Edo Assembly Crisis: Malami Has Shown His Political Bias, Abused The Law – Obaseki

A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Don-Pedro Obaseki, has reacted to the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

Obaseki, who spoke on Monday during Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, accused the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami of abusing the law.

According to him, Malami’s response to the crisis engulfing the Edo parliament has revealed what side of the political divide he is supporting.

“I will state clearly that Mr. Malami has shown himself as a law officer, as a most-partisan one who decides to speak depending on what part of the (political) party divide he is on. What he has done is a flagrant abuse of the law,” he said.

He also accused the newly sworn-in members of the assembly of forging a mace used during their inauguration.

READ ALSO: Drama As Men Smash Mace, Destroy Property At Edo Assembly

While noting that the original mace is with the Speaker of the House, Francis Okiye, the PDP member described the situation as treasonable.

 

17 APC Lawmakers in Edo claimed to have impeached the State House of Assembly Speaker on August 6, 2020.

 

Obaseki, therefore, called for the arrest of the 14 members of the House for allegedly forging a mace during their swearing-in.

“They have gone to forge a mace. When you forge a mace, you are forcefully taking over a part of the government.

“That is treasonable. The original mace still lies with the Speaker, Mr Okiye. The Department of State Service should go and arrest them. They are a threat to the state,” he said.

PDP member, Don-Pedro Obaseki accuses the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, of flouting the law with respect to the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

 

Speaking further, he explained that the House of Assembly is only proclaimed once and that has already been done earlier by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

His remarks come days after some unknown persons invaded the Edo Assembly and climbed the roof of the complex where they removed the mace.

Shortly after, 17 lawmakers, including 14 members whose seats have been previously declared vacant, claim that they have impeached the Speaker of the House, Okiye, and his deputy, Roland Asoro.

Edo Assembly Crisis: AGF Asks IGP To Provide Security Cover For Members-Elect

AGF and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, addresses a press conference on August 22, 2019.

 

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu to provide security for the 14 newly sworn-in members of the Edo State House of Assembly.

In a letter dated August 5, Malami said his intervention was to enable the lawmakers to hold plenary within the House of the Assembly complex.

“My office is in receipt of a letter dated 3rd August 2020 from Messrs West Idahosa & Co. requesting for the intervention of my office on behalf of its clients who are members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly but who were excluded or prevented from being inaugurated till date since the House was inaugurated on 17th June 2019. A copy of the letter is attached for ease of reference.

“In view of the foregoing and in order to ensure constitutional compliance with the dictates of Sections 91 – 96 of the 1999 Constitution (as altered) and also to prevent the breakdown of peace, law and order, I’m requesting you kindly provide adequate security measures for the purpose of the inauguration of the concerned members and subsequent sittings in Edo State House of Assembly,” Malami’s letter read.

Seventeen lawmakers of the Edo State House of Assembly, including 14 members whose seats have been previously declared vacant, claim that they have impeached the Speaker of the House, Francis Okiye, and his deputy, Roland Asoro.

The decision was taken on Thursday at a private location in Benin City, the state capital, hours after security officials took over the State Assembly Complex.

In their place, the lawmakers say they have elected Victor Edoror, who represents Esan Central Constituency, and Emmanuel Agbaje, who represents Akoko-Edo Constituency II as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

At the meeting, the 14 lawmakers-elect were, first, sworn in and then, together with three other lawmakers who recently pledged their allegiance to Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) claimed to have impeached the Speaker and his deputy.

See the document here

 

FG Expecting $200m From Netherlands, Switzerland – Malami

 

The Federal Government says Nigeria is awaiting the return of $200million from the Netherlands and Switzerland.

According to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, the money is part of proceeds from the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 Malabu oil deal.

Mr Malami disclosed this on Tuesday at a one-day capacity building workshop organised for judiciary correspondents in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

At the event, he presented a scorecard of the Ministry of Justice in the last one year during which he outlined the efforts of the present administration in the war against corruption.

“On the fight against corruption and associated recovery of looted and illicit assets, I am happy to inform you that within the period in contention, Nigeria succeeded in recovering $311 billion from U.S. and New Jersey and the money has been repatriated to Nigeria,” Malami said.

READ ALSO: FG Recovers N800bn Looted Funds, Convicts 1,400 – Lai Mohammed

The minister said due to the anti-corruption crusade, the Federal Government facilitated the recovery of $62 billion arrears from oil companies as part of its Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).

He explained that the money has been paid into the Federal Government treasury for utility development such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Kano-Abuja Expressway, and the Second Niger Bridge, in line with the agreement reached with the foreign partners.

Malami also disclosed that over N685 million was recovered through the help of whistle-blowers within the last one year while N500 million was recovered from forfeited vessels, trucks, and barges.

A file photo of Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.
A file photo of the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.

 

Elsewhere, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the government has recovered looted funds in excess of N800 billion with over 1,400 convictions secured.

Mohammed, who also addressed reporters in the nation’s capital, stated that the present administration’s fight against corruption was as strong as ever.

While stressing that there were records to back up his claim, he said Nigerians have recently been inundated with allegations of monumental corruption in a number of government agencies.

He listed some of the agencies to include the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).