Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Nigeria’s Beach Volleyball Team Optimistic Of Qualifying

 

Nigeria’s beach volleyball coach, John Iwerinma is optimistic the country will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Iwerinma expressed his optimism after Nigeria lost to Canada 2-0 (21-11, 22-20) at the ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar.

He said the players played with a high level of dedication, selflessness and determination but were beaten by the best players in the world.

According to the coach, “Nigeria can qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics; the world beach games has re-affirmed my hope and confidence in the nation’s beach volleyball team. We played against the best teams in the world (Brazil, USA and Czech) and the girls were able to get 10 points from them. This shows we have improved drastically.

“The girls never showed any sign of complacency during and after the matches; their heads were up high after playing against Canada in the quarterfinals despite the loss”.

He further said, “The ANOC World beach games have confirmed that the players that we can stand against the best in the world and going by recent antecedent we are a world-class beach volleyball playing nation”.

He commended the leadership of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation for believing in the team that went to Doha.

“The President of the Federation has been supportive and has supported the beach volleyball teams during every of their programs. Some of the players participated at the World Championship and featured at the snow volleyball championship too”.

He concluded that Africa is blessed with talented players that can challenge European players but identified funding as a major problem that has hampered the growth of the game.

19 Journalists Suffered Attack In Nigeria Within Nine Months – Amnesty International

AFP photo

 

 

Amnesty International says no fewer than 19 journalists and media practitioners have suffered attack in Nigeria between January and September 2019.

The human rights organisation disclosed this in its report entitled, Endangered Voices: Attack On Freedom Of Expression In Nigeria.

In the 42-page document launched in Abuja on Monday, the group noted that the figure was the highest recorded in the country since 2015.

One of the cases highlighted in the report is that of Jones Abiri, a journalist based in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, who was arrested and detained for more than two years without trial for publishing a story about oil blocks and politics in Nigeria.

Another incident is that of Ahmed Salkida who was declared wanted by the Nigerian government for publishing an article and proof of life video of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, among other cases.

READ ALSO: Police Uncover Islamic Centre With Chained, Maltreated Children In Daura

Amnesty decried that the civic space has continued to shrink, stressing that clear examples of such were the attacks on freedom of information and expression as well as media freedom.

“Since 2015, attacks on journalists and media activists have continued unabated. Amnesty International has been closely monitoring these attacks and now reports on how they have contributed to the violation of other human rights in Nigeria.

“These attacks take the form of verbal and physical assault, as well as indiscriminate arrest and detention by Nigerian authorities,” Amnesty said in the executive summary page of the report.

 

Death Threats?

It accused the security forces of perpetrating most of the violations, adding that they occur when journalists and media practitioners seek access to information, share information or express critical views that could drive public opinion.

The group was worried that dissenting views expressed by media practitioners were often criminalised, particularly when they revolve around sensitive issues.

It also noted that there was stifling of freedom of expression in circumstances where journalists were pressured to disclose their sources of information.

“Those who spoke to Amnesty International confirmed that they came under intense pressure from Nigeria’s security officials to reveal their sources of information, particularly when they published stories that focused on corruption, elections, and armed conflict.

“Some of the journalists were kept under surveillance, while others received death threats via telephone calls from unidentified people.

“Many journalists also came under attack while reporting the 2019 General Elections across Nigeria,” the report revealed.

According to the group, the failure of the Nigerian government to investigate cases of indiscriminate arrest, detention, and prosecution of journalists and media practitioners ensures that perpetrators are not held to account for human rights violations.

It said while many of the victims faced indiscriminate charges such as ‘defamation’ and ‘terrorism’, others had charges such as ‘kidnapping’, criminal trespass and theft of state documents brought against them.

Amnesty accused the government at both federal and state levels of violating and repressing the human rights of bloggers, journalists, broadcasters and social media users.

It stated that the Nigerian authorities have legally binding obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of information, media freedom and personal liberty in the country.

The group, therefore, asked the government to immediately end violations and abuses of the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of information, as well as media freedom and personal liberty.

It recommended that journalists, bloggers, and media activists must have access to information and be able to do their job freely without any fear of reprisal.

Amnesty also called for thorough and effective investigations into allegations of attacks against victims and bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible through fair trials.

Among other demands, it called on the government to issue clear directives to the police, military, and other security agencies to refrain from applying existing laws in a manner that restricts or interferes with rights to freedom of expression.

Without A New Constitution, Nigeria Will Be Burning In Five Years, Says Clarke

Mr Robert Clarke

 

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Robert Clarke, says there is an urgent need for a total overhaul of the nation’s Constitution.

He stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’s weekend political show, Sunday Politics, where he warned that there might be consequences if the issue was not taken seriously.

The senior lawyer decried the level of poverty and unemployment which he said could set the nation on fire in the next few years if nothing was done.

He stressed that the crop of political elites in the country has no other option than to support a new Constitution.

“They (the elites) have no alternative and (President Muhammadu) Buhari is there, and God will give him that will.

“I am praying because, in five years’ time, I am not joking, Nigeria is going to be burning. Poverty is too much and we are not creating opportunities,” Clarke said.

He believes having a new Constitution is the right thing for the nation if it must tackle the numerous challenges facing it.

 

Change The Constitution

On the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government, he noted that the Buhari administration has made some progress but more needed to be done.

READ ALSO: Buhari Is Handicapped By The Nature Of Administration He Is Leading – Clarke

According to the senior advocate, the present administration has been able to close the tunnel of corruption but a new Constitution is significant to tackle the menace headlong.

He disagreed with the notion that the nation’s laws were encouraging corruption, stressing that Nigeria has a faulty Constitution.

“Restructure Nigeria, change the Constitution.  Let us change the Constitution and restructure because governance in Nigeria is taking 80 per cent, that’s what the new budget has told us.

“Why should we be spending 80 per cent of our revenue on government expenses?” Clarke questioned.

“It is not the laws, the laws are made to regulate. The Constitution is the cankerworm that is eating us up in corruption.

“The Constitution we are operating upon is a corrupt Constitution; is a rotten egg,” he added while insisting that it must be “terminated”.

 

Slash Political Appointments

The SAN noted that former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan made efforts to review the Constitution by organising conferences while in office.

He, however, stated that both leaders never laid a foundation for any legal basis upon which the recommendations of the conferences would be implemented.

Clarke advised President Buhari not to “make the same mistake” but send a bill to the National Assembly, informing them about his intention to set up a parliament to look into restructuring and review the Constitution.

He added that the President should urge the lawmakers to pass a bill which he would assent to that whatever decision the panel arrives at would be sent to Nigerians and if approved, it would be brought back to the National Assembly for proper legislation.

The senior advocate also recommended that President Buhari should cut the cost of governance by reducing political appointments, as well as Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in the country.

Casemiro Denies Super Eagles Victory Over Brazil

Brazil’s midfielder Casemiro (#5) kicks the ball to score an equaliser during an international friendly football match against Nigeria at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria were forced to a 1-1 draw in their international friendly match against Brazil on Sunday at the National Stadium in Singapore.

A few minutes into the game, Lille forward Victor Osimhen attempted to grab a lead for Nigeria with a shot on target but was saved by Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Moraes.

The Eagles continued a good job by containing the South American side in the early minutes of the match while controlling the pace.

Brazil also made an attempt with a beautiful header by Gabriel Jesus while goalkeeper Francis Uzoho was quick to save the Eagles.

Brazil’s forward Gabriel Jesus (R) and Nigeria’s defender Jamilu Collins during the international friendly football match at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

The game became more interesting for thousands of Nigerians watching when Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo set the Super Eagles on the lead.

Aribo made with a brilliant finish after making his way through Brazilian defenders and fired past goalkeeper Moraes in the 35th minute, thanks to efforts from the duo of Lille and Nantes forward, Victor Osimhen and Moses Simon.

The Super Eagles shared a video of the goal on its verified Twitter handle.

 

Casemiro Denies Super Eagles

 

Nigeria sustained the tempo with the 1-0 scoreline which lasted till the end of the first half.

However, Brazilian forward Casemiro cut short the expectations of Nigerians who were optimistic that the Eagles would win the match.

Barely three minutes after the restart, the Real Madrid midfielder denied the Super Eagles victory with an equaliser.

Brazil’s midfielder Casemiro (R) celebrates after scoring an equaliser during the international friendly football match against Nigeria at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

On the other hand, Osimhen missed a chance of putting Nigeria on the lead again in the 52nd minute.

The 20-year-old headed on target from Villarreal midfielder Samuel Chukwueze’s cross but was promptly saved by Moraes.

While the match was ongoing, Maduka Okoye made his debut as he replaced injured Francis Uzoho while Paul Onuachu came in for Osimhen.

Brazil’s defender Marquinhos (L) and Nigeria’s forward Victor Osimhen fight for the ball during the international friendly football match at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

Simon and Alex Iwobi were also replaced by Emmanuel Dennis and Ramon Azeez just as Peter Olayinka and Abdullahi Shehu substituted Samuel Chukwueze and Joe Aribo respectively.

On Brazil’s side, those substituted are Neymar – Philippe Coutinho, Everton – Richarlison, Roberto Firmino – Gabriel Barbosa, Arthur – Fabinho, and Gabriel Jesus – Lucas Paqueta.

The match ended 1-1.

VIDEO: Super Eagles Grab Half-Time Lead Against Brazil In Singapore

Brazil’s forward Neymar (R) fights for the ball with the Super Eagles of Nigeria’s midfielder Wilfred Ndidi during a friendly international football match at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have taken the lead ahead of Brazil in the ongoing international friendly match between the two teams.

The match which kick-off at 1:00PM Nigerian time, is ongoing at the National Stadium in Singapore.

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo set Nigeria on the lead with a brilliant finish after making his way through Brazilian defenders and fired past goalkeeper Ederson Moraes.

The goal came in the 35th minute with efforts from the duo of Lille and Nantes forward, Victor Osimhen and Moses Simon, respectively.

The Super Eagles shared a video of the goal on its verified Twitter handle.

Watch the video below:

Why I Travelled To The UK – Aisha Buhari

The First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, greeted by well-wishers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on October 13, 2019.

 

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has returned to the country after a long holiday in the United Kingdom.

Director of Information to the First Lady at the State House, Suleiman Haruna, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Aisha arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport via a British Airways flight at about 4:30AM.

READ ALSO: Fayemi Frees 17 Prisoners As Two On Death Row Get Life Sentence

Addressing reporters on her arrival, she explained that she was away for health reasons.

According to her, although she had observed her 6 weeks long annual leave, she needed some extra time away to attend to her health.

 

The First Lady said she was happy to be home after a well-deserved rest.

She also confirmed that she was fully rejuvenated to continue the work of improving the health and well-being of women, children, and other vulnerable Nigerians while she was away.

Aisha used the opportunity to thank her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as family and well-wishers for their support and encouragement while she was away.

She was received at the airport by wives of present and former and governors and many associates among others.

25 Eaglets Arrive In Brazil For FIFA U-17 World Cup

Photo: Twitter – @thenff

 

 

Five-time world champions, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria have arrived in Brazil for the 2019 FIFA World Cup finals scheduled for October 26 to November 17.

A team of 25 players and nine officials departed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday evening for Dubai, where they connected another flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Four players would be cut from the roster after the preparatory period before the unveiling of a final list of 21 players that would make the World Cup squad ahead of the opening encounter.

READ ALSO: Djokovic Ramps Up Shanghai Masters Title Defence

Nigeria won the tournament in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015, but missed the 2017 finals in India.

Head Coach Manu Garba, who led the 2013 winners, is optimistic that the team is in Brazil to reclaim the trophy.

The early departure will afford the Golden Eaglets a full two-week final preparatory period, before their opening Group B match of the tournament against Hungary in Goiania on October 26.

Nigeria’s second group match will be against Ecuador at the same venue three days later and they will conclude the group action with Australia in the capital, Brasilia on November 1.

The 25 players who arrived in Brazil on Thursday are listed below:

Goalkeepers: Sunday Stephen, Joseph Oluwabusola, and Daniel Jinadu.

Defenders: Charles Etim, Ogaga Oduko, Usman Ibrahim, Clement Ikenna, Shedrack Tanko, Quadri Edun, Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi, and Simon Omon.

Midfielders: Samson Tijani, Akinkunmi Amoo, Daniel Francis, Ibraheem Jabaar, Ibrahim Sa’id, Monsuru Opeyemi, Fawaz Abdullahi, Idris Eletu-Odibo, Malcolm Ebowei, and Peter Agba.

Forwards: Olakunle Olusegun, Wisdom Ubani, Divine Nwachukwu, and Mayowa Abayomi.

Nigeria, South Africa To Issue 10-Year Visa To Businessmen, Academics

 

Following successful conclusion of the 9th Bi-National Commission of South Africa and Nigeria meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, which was elevated to the level of heads of state, both countries have agreed on issuing 10-year visas to businessmen, academics and frequent travelers.

The agreement was reached in a meeting co-chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, which was the first time both presidents will preside since the Bi-National Commission was elevated.

The decision was taken to encourage more people-to-people contacts among citizens of both countries and further strengthen socio-cultural, economic and political relations.

READ ALSO: Don’t Forget Your Country, Buhari Tells Nigerians In South Africa

At the meeting held at the Union Buildings, Presidential Palace of South Africa, the two presidents agreed on early warning signals to nip violence in the bud before it escalates, while taking into consideration the need to share more intelligence and promote stronger partnership in security.

Both countries also agreed to re-establish the consular forum, which is a structured arrangement where both governments meet regularly, at least twice in a year, to discuss welfare of citizens.

Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, signed the minutes of the 9th session of Bi-National Commission.

$9.6bn Fine: FG Insists P&ID Deal Is ‘Sham’, Confident Of ‘Fair Hearing’

 

 

The Nigerian Government has insisted that the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) contract is fraudulent, following the recent development in the case.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“The Federal Government now has unconditional permission to appeal against the decision of the Commercial Court recognising and converting the $9.6 billion arbitration award in favour of P&ID to a domestic judgment,” he told reporters.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Forfeiture Of P&ID Assets To FG

A London court had in mid-August granted P&ID the right to seek Nigerian government assets worth $9.6 billion over an aborted gas project.

The court awarded the penalty in an arbitration decision over a failed deal to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

However, the decision of the court did not go well with the Muhammadu Buhari administration which said the contract was initially designed to fail.

On September 19, A Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) to wind up operations in Nigeria and forfeit its properties to the Federal Government.

While the government continues its bid to overturn the judgement of the London court, the government sent a delegation to the United Kingdom last week.

The team comprised two ministers, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as heads of the Nigeria Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

Nigeria Granted Permission

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the visit by the government delegation, Mr Mohammed noted that they recorded a huge success.

According to him, the government won a leave of the commercial court to appeal the judgment which P&ID had vehemently resisted.

“It was indeed a huge victory, and P&ID has every reason to be worried that the 9.6 billion US dollars arbitration award to it has a good chance of being overturned,” the minister said.

He added, “The Federal Government looks forward to its day in court in the Court of Appeal, where it is confident that it will receive a fair hearing of its case and that the order permitting enforcement of the arbitral award will be set aside.”

Mr Mohammed said the court granted the government “unconditional permission” to appeal against its own decision.

He also disclosed that the court rejected P&ID’s arguments that there was no basis for any appeal, as the judge admitted that the case was of major importance to the Nigerian government and its people.

The minister insisted that P&ID was a company without a physical address and no known investment anywhere in the world.

The company’s intention, according to him, was set out to dupe Nigeria from day one with the help of those he described as unpatriotic, corrupt and greedy Nigerians.

Read the full text of the minister at the press briefing below:

BEING THE TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, ON THE FG DELEGATION’S RECENT TRIP TO LONDON AND THE LONDON COMMERCIAL COURT RULING ON THE P&ID ISSUE….IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY 2 OCTOBER 2019

Good afternoon gentlemen. As you are aware, a high-powered Federal Government delegation was in London the whole of this past week. The team comprises the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami; Minister of Information and Culture counterpart, that is my humble self; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emefiele; Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu; Assistant Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Lamorde and EFCC Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu.

The team set off to achieve three main objectives which, even to the greatest optimist, seemed an uphill task at the time:

(a) – Change the narrative, especially on the international stage, on the entire P&ID issue, more so in the run-up to the 26 Sept 2019 court hearing on the case.

(b) – Apply for leave of the commercial court to appeal the judgement that recognised the humongous and unprecedented arbitration award.

(c) – Seek a stay of execution on the UK judgment that recognised the approximately 9.6 billion-dollar arbitration award to P&ID over a botched, 20-year gas deal with Nigeria.

  1. Gentlemen, without being immodest, I can say categorically that we achieved all three objectives. First, we took London by storm, taking our case to international media outlets and Think Tanks like

AP, AFP, Reuters, Bloomberg, BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, The African Confidential, Royal African Society and the Red Lions Chambers, a leading Barrister’s Chambers in London, among others. We also met a group of experts and stakeholders. Our message was simple:

P&ID, a company without a physical address and no known investment anywhere in the world, set out to dupe Nigeria from day one, with the connivance of unpatriotic, corrupt and greedy Nigerians. The entire Gas Supply Processing Agreement (GSPA), which P&ID entered into with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is nothing but a fraudulent, contraption with no chance, or expectation, of success.

  1. We then said that the unprecedented 9.6 billion dollars in arbitration award to P&ID constitutes an unreasonable reward to a company that has done nothing more than to engage in fraud and economic sabotage. This runs contrary to the course of justice and is capable of bringing harm and hardship to Nigeria, and indeed the wider region.
  2. Why did we say so? Because of the following:

(a) – A contract of this magnitude cannot be valid until it has been vetted by the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and taken to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

None of these was done. The sham contract was also signed in contravention of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act and the Infrastructural Regulatory Commission Procurement Act.

(b) – While the MoU for the project was signed in 2009 by P&ID Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian government (Ministry of Petroleum Resources), a ‘trick’ clause dubiously inserted in the MoU was curiously activated that allowed British Virgin Island (BVI)-registered P&ID to replace the original contractual party, P&ID Nigeria Limited, to sign the contract on Jan. 11 2010. P&ID, incorporated in BVI, is a shell company that has no history of any business except the phantom GSPA in Nigeria. Please note that there is no Board resolution approving the assignment of the contractual interest to P&ID BVI.

(c) – P&ID never kick-started the construction of the project facility, despite its claim to have invested $40 million in Nigeria. It also never acquired any land to build the gas processing plant.

(d) – There is no proof of any financial commitment by P&ID toward the execution and implementation of its own obligation as stipulated in the 2010 agreement. Similarly, the Central Bank of Nigeria confirmed there is no trace of any funds brought into Nigeria by P&ID.

(e) – Two Directors of P&ID Nigeria have been convicted of charges of money laundering and economic sabotage. They are Mohammed Kuchazi, a Director of P&ID BVI, and Adamu Usman, a Director of P&ID Nigeria.

(f) – Suspicious payments were made to Mrs. Grace Taiga, the Legal Director in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Mrs Taiga was supposed to ensure that the interest of the country was adequately protected.

Of course, the payment, transferred in three tranches, could only have been made in appreciation of the ‘good deed’ done to P&ID by Mrs Taiga. Also, billions of Naira in suspicious cash transfers were made by P&ID. Investigations continue into these transfers.

(g) – According to the contract, the gas for the project was expected to come from OML 67 operated by ExxonMobil and OML 123 operated by Addax. But none of the two companies was even aware of the agreement.

(h) – And finally, for such a supposedly important project, there was no budgetary provision for the implementation of the GSPA in the budget of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2010, and P&ID did not obtain the necessary licence to deal in petroleum products from the Department of Petroleum Resources as stipulated by extant laws.

The firm also neither filed tax returns nor paid VAT to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as required by law.

  1. Our message reverberated around the world, with over 150 articles published by major media outlets outside Nigeria within a week alone, according to the preliminary report on the top-tier international coverage, and went a long way in countering the distortion by P&ID and changing the narrative on the whole issue globally.
  2. We also succeeded in our quest for a stay of execution, pending the determination of an application to the Court of Appeal (Our application for leave to appeal the judgement was successful, as I said earlier).
  3. Now, let me go further to explain the judgement which was facilitated by the retained international legal Firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, retained by the Federal Government in this case:

(a) The Federal Government now has an unconditional permission to appeal against the decision of the Commercial Court recognising and converting the 9.6 billion US dollars arbitration award in favour of P&ID to a domestic judgment. The Nigerian government won a leave of the commercial court to appeal the judgment which P&ID had vehemently resisted.

The court granted the Federal government unconditional permission to appeal against its own decision, and the court rejected P&ID’s arguments that there was no basis for any appeal. On the contrary, the judge expressly recognised that the case was of major importance to the Government and people of Nigeria, and that the Federal Government had a serious case to present to the Court of Appeal that his decision was wrong.

All but one of the six proposed grounds of appeal by the Nigerian government were all allowed by the Commercial Court. This is a huge success.

(b) The judge also granted the Federal government a stay of any enforcement proceedings pending the determination of any appeal. He accepted the Federal Government’s evidence as to the weak financial status of P&ID and the fact that it was nothing more than an offshore company with no established business, staff or assets other than the arbitral award that it was trying to enforce and that it would be unable to repay the proceeds of any enforcement if the Court of Appeal overturned his decision granting leave to enforce the award.

The judge also recognised that the ownership of P&ID was opaque, and that a vulture fund stands behind it which had engaged lawyers determined to pursue a strategy including the temporary seizure of assets, regardless of state immunity claims.

The Federal Government is pleased that the Judge fairly recognised the merits of its arguments and the true nature of P&ID and its strategy, and that he granted permission to appeal against his own decision and a stay pending appeal.

The Federal Government looks forward to its day in court in the Court of Appeal, where it is confident that it will receive a fair hearing of its case and that the order permitting enforcement of the arbitral award will be set aside.

Conditions Imposed by the Courts for the Stay of Execution includes:

(i) The Federal Government shall pay the sum of 200 million US dollars into the Court Funds Office within 60 days of the date of this order.

(ii) The Federal Government shall make a payment in the sum of 250,000 GBP, representing P&ID’s solicitors advance costs, within a period 14 working days.

  1. CONCLUSION

(a) Gentlemen, I have gone the extra mile to summarize our week-long activities in London as well as the judgement of the London-based Commercial Court on the arbitration award of 9.6 billion US dollars to P&ID in order to put the record straight and knock the bottom off the argument by P&ID and its cohorts that we did not score a big victory in London last week. It was indeed a huge victory, and P&ID has every reason to be worried that the 9.6 billion US dollars arbitration award to it has a good chance of being overturned.

The Federal Government has a good chance of being successful in its impending appeal, otherwise the Commercial Court would not have allowed the appeal.

(b) Please note, gentlemen, that Nigeria will be able to demand for a refund of the 250,000 GBP payment to P&ID where the government wins on the appeal. This fact is being hidden by those who have been spinning the London judgment in their own favour.

(c) On the 200 million US dollars payment as a condition for the granting of the stay of execution, Nigeria has instructed its lawyers to seek the leave of the Court of Appeal to appeal against that payment.

(d) As I said in my press conference of Monday, 26 August 2019, Nigerians should remain assured that the Federal Government is taking all necessary steps to strongly avail itself of all defences customarily afforded to sovereign states under the United Kingdom Sovereign Immunity Act to fight and upturn any enforcement of the award.

In the words of Mr. President at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York last week, “We are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars.”

(e) The Federal Government has succeeded in changing the false narrative being peddled by P&ID both within and outside Nigeria by putting across strong evidence that the company is nothing but a fraud.

(f) Please permit me to thank the Nigerian media for its largely objective and patriotic reportage of this whole issue, despite the attempts by the desperate P&ID to muddy the waters.

(g) Finally, and this is the most important point: For those who may still not understand the gravity of the judgement of the Commercial Court in London last week, let me say this: Had we lost our quest for a stay of execution and application to appeal in London last week, P&ID would by now be attempting to seize our assets all over the world. Remember they boasted, before the judgment, that they have started compiling a list of our assets which they will attach. But now, that’s an empty boast, thanks to the successes recorded in the court of law and the court of public opinion last week.

  1. I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind attention.

Nigeria, South Africa To Clash In Olympics Football Qualifier

 

Nigeria and South Africa were placed in the same group when the draw for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying tournament was made Wednesday in Egyptian city Alexandria.

Nigeria and South Africa are in Group B for the November 8-22 championship with the Ivory Coast and Zambia, while Group A comprises hosts Egypt, Mali, Cameroon and Ghana.

Teams are restricted to Under-23 footballers and the finalists and the winners of the third-place play-off will represent Africa in Japan, where teams can use three ‘over-age’ players.

Nigeria have won gold (1996) and silver (2008) at Olympic football tournaments, Cameroon gold (2000) and Ghana bronze (1992).

South Africa and Nigeria stood out during a three-round qualifying competition for the tournament in Egypt, with all matches scheduled for Cairo.

The South Africans twice scored three goals against Angola and banged five past Zimbabwe in Soweto as they chase a second successive appearance at the Olympics.

Although lacking Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen, who were on senior national team duty, Nigeria crushed Sudan 5-0 last month after losing the first leg by a solitary goal.

The tournament doubles as the Africa U23 Cup of Nations and the previous two editions were won by Gabon (2011) in Morocco and Nigeria (2015) in Senegal.

Draw

Group A

Egypt (hosts), Mali, Cameroon, Ghana

Group B

Nigeria, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Zambia

NigeriaAt59: We’ve Not Been Lucky To Have The Right People In Power – Adebanjo

Elder statesman and a chieftain of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, has decried the quality of leaders Nigeria has had over the years.

Chief Adebanjo made this known during a special edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today in commemoration of the country’s 59th independence anniversary.

“We are not where we should be because we have not been lucky to have the right people at the top,” he said while reviewing the state of the nation at 59.

Adebanjo believes that the myriads of challenges the country has faced since 1960 and its inability to find solutions to them are mainly due to the quality of leaders.

As far as he is concerned, the country was only fortunate with governance from 1960 to 1963, the first three years after it gained independence from Britain.

Elder statesman Ayo Adebanjo believes restructuring is critical to Nigeria’s progress.

According to him, it’s been a thing of shame to those who struggled to liberate Nigeria from the shackles of colonialism.

He said, “It has not been impressive. To those of us who fought for independence, it is a big disappointment. We are not where we should be.

“The people whom we have been unfortunate to have, have not had the direction of those who fought for independence mostly because the army did a lot of havoc.

“Their intervention was not a blessing. And you see where we are today. The people who fought for independence did not get into office after independence.

“We were lucky at the beginning from 1960 to 1963, which was the best period for civilian government. Since the army intervention in 1966, we have not been fortunate.”

NigeriaAt59: Moments That Have Defined Nigeria Since Independence

At 59, Nigeria has continued to survive, against all odds. The country hasn’t lived up to its shimmering potential, but it has also not been all gloomy. Here are a couple of moments that have defined the country since independence in 1960.

1960 – Independence

Nigeria achieved independence from Great Britain on October 1, 1960. On October 1, 1963, Nigeria became a republic.

Why it matters:
Independence gave Nigerians the freedom to govern themselves.

1966 – First Coup

Nigeria’s first coup was orchestrated by Chuwkuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna. Since then, the country had been embroiled in numerous conflicts over elections and tribal sentiments.

Why it matters:
The first coup ushered in the military into the governance of Nigeria, ending the First Republic. The military would go on to lead the country
for more than two decades in total.

1967 – Civil War

The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War and the Nigerian-Biafran War, started on July 6, 1967 and ended on January 15, 1970.

Why it matters:
It was the longest, most devastating conflict in the young nation’s history. It was also the most serious threat to the continued existence of a united Nigeria.

1973 – Naira adopted

In 1973, the country adopted a truly national currency in decimal form instead of the Pounds, replacing the imperial system which she inherited from the British colonial administration.

Why it matters:
Adopting a fully homegrown currency put the country’s financial planning into its hands.

1973 – NYSC starts

There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973, graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the
National Youth Service Corps program for one year.

Why it matters:
The NYSC scheme was created in a bid to reunify the country after the Nigerian Civil War. It is perhaps Nigeria’s largest and most enduring national integration project.

1978 – ‘Arise O Compatriots’ adopted

Nigeria adopted a new national anthem in 1978, replacing ‘We Hail Thee’, which had been composed by a British expatriate living in Nigeria.

Why it matters:
The national anthem is perhaps one of the most important national treasure, a call of action that seeks to unify and galvanise the country into
greatness.

1979 – Obasanjo hands over to Shagari

Nigeria’s second attempt at democracy started in 1979, when Military Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo, handed over to civilian President, Shehu Shagari.

Why it matters:
The Second Republic did away with the parliamentary system of governance in favour of the presidential system, although it was another experiment
that ended in failure.

1983 – Buhari topples Shagari

On December 31, civilian president, Shehu Shagari was toppled by the military, effectively ending the Second Republic.

Why it matters:
The end of the Second Republic meant Nigeria’s second attempt at democratic governance failed. It also ushered more than a decade of military rule.

1986 – Dele Giwa Assassinated

Journalist, Dele Giwa, was killed by a mail bomb in his Lagos home on October 19, 1986, just two days after he has been interviewed by State Security
Service (SSS) officials.

Why it matters:
Giwa’s death typified the country’s intolerance against free press, and marked one of the biggest blows to press freedom in Nigeria’s history.

1986 – Soyinka awarded Nobel Prize

Wole Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, becoming the first African to be so recognised.

Why it matters:
The award added to the prestige of the country’s literary canon and helped to inspire a new generation of literary giants.

1992 – ‘Living in Bondage’ released

Living in Bondage, a film produced by Kenneth Nnebue, was shot and released.

Why it matters:
It was the breakout straight-to-video film which helped to lay the foundations for Nollywood, an industry which is now globally recognised and respected.

1993 – June 12 election

Considered as the freest and fairest election ever conducted in Nigeria, June 12, for many, represents one of the biggest opportunities passed up by the country.

Why it matters:
It showed that a virile form of democracy was possible in the country.

1993: Babangida hands over to Shonekan

Under intense political pressure, Ibrahim Babangida handed over to Ernest Shonekan in 1993, completing another military to civilian handover.

Why it matters:
It created a poorly accepted interim government, which unwittingly paved the way for arguably the most notorious military regimes in the country.

 

1993 – Abacha sacks Shonekan

Supposedly preempting a coup action by radical junior officers, Sani Abachi overthrew Ernest Shonekan on November 17, 1993.

Why it matters:
Abacha’s action effectively set in motion one of Africa’s most vicious, corrupt and intolerant military governments.

1995 – Ken Saro Wiwa hanged

Activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged in Port Harcourt on November 10, 1995.

Why it matters:
Saro-Wiwa’s execution summed up the callousness of the Abacha regime, which was infamous for silencing and eliminating any form of political dissent or activism.

1996 – Nigerian wins Olympics Gold in Soccer

Nigeria beat Argentina 3-2 to win Olympic Gold in soccer for the first time.

Why it matters:
The Olympic gold medal was Africa’s first in soccer and remains the country’s biggest international achievement in the round leather game.

1996 – Chioma Ajunwa wins Gold

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Chioma Ajunwa became the first Nigerian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. She specialised in the long jump.

Why it matters:
Ajunwa wasn’t just the first Nigerian to win an Olympic gold medal, she was also the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a field event.

1998 – Abacha dies

Sani Abacha died on June 8, 1998, reportedly of a heart attack. He was 54.

Why it matters:
Abacha’s death put an end to his authoritarian regime and laid the foundation for the birth of the Fourth Republic.

1999 – Abdusalami hands over to Obasanjo

On May 29, 1999, former Military Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, became Nigeria’s first elected civilian President after Shehu Shagari.

Why it matters:
This was the beginning of the Fourth Republic and Nigeria’s next attempt at democracy.

This ushered in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, the country’s most enduring so far.

 

2001 – Nigeria deregulates telecoms sector

The federal government liberalised the telecommunications network in 2001.

Why it matters:
Deregulation allowed the telecoms industry to thrive, making Nigeria one of the leading growth markets for mobile technology.

2001 – Agbani Darego wins Miss World Competition

Agbani was an 18 year-old Nigerian computer science student when she won the 51st Miss World pageant held in Sun City, South Africa.

Why it matters:
Her victory represented the first win for a black African and news about the triumph dominated the media amounting also to a win for a resurgent Nigerian  lifestyle industry.

2007 – Yar’Adua succeeds Obasanjo

On May 29, 2019, Umaru Yar’Adua was sworn in as Nigeria’s new president in Abuja.

Why it matters:
The inauguration was the first time in Nigeria’s history that one civilian leader had taken over from another.

2009 – Boko Haram blows up

In July 2009, Boko Haram chief, Muhammed Yusuf, was killed in police detention.

Why it matters:
Yusuf’s death set off the Boko Haram crisis, which had been simmering for years.

 

2009 – Nigeria grants Niger Delta Militants Amnesty

After years of conflict, the federal government offered Niger Delta militants amnesty in August.

Why it matters:
The offer helped to reduce unrest in the oil-rich Niger-Delta, which is crucial to the nation’s economic fortunes.

2010 – Yar’Adua dies

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died in May 2010, after a long battle with an illness shrouded in secrecy.

Why it matters:
Yar’adua’s death ended the power vacuum and political and economic uncertainty that had been created by his protracted illness and paved the way for his Deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, to take over.

 

2011 – Jonathan is elected as President

Goodluck Jonthan was declared winner of the 2011 Presidential Election, which was held in April that year.

Why it matters:
It was the first time an individual from the South-South, which is mostly made up of minority tribes, would lead the nation.

2014 – Chibok girls abducted.

On the night of April 14, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State.

Why it matters:
The abduction attract global condemnation and shed a spotlight on the gruesome reality set in motion by the Boko Haram crisis.

 

2014 – Adadevoh helped curb the spread of Ebola

In July 2014, Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh raised a red flag when attending to a Liberian patient at the First Consultant Hospital in Lagos.

Why it matters:
Dr Adadevoh’s action and ultimate sacrifice helped to prevent a catastrophic spread of Ebola in one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

2015 – Buhari defeats Jonathan

Former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s presidential poll by 2.57 million votes.

Why it matters:
It was the first time an incumbent President was defeated in an election in Nigeria, further strengthening the nation’s fragile democracy.