Thursday 9 February 2017

EFCC Agents Raid Home Of Former GMD Of NNPC, Find $9.2m

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives raided the home of Andrew Yakubu, former General Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in Kaduna city on Thursday.
The agents recovered $9.2 million from Mr. Yakubu's safe and an additional £72,000. The EFCC said it was the largest sum of cash the commission had recovered in recent weeks.
Mr. Yakubu was arraigned in June 2016 on allegations of money laundering.

He served as GMD of NNPC from 2012 to 2014 during the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Premium Times reported in 2014 that the embattled GMD was sacked after then Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke accused him of insubordination.

‘How Trump’s presidency ‘ll benefit oil market’

Nigeria may be on the verge of regaining its crude oil market share in the United States (U.S.) following President Donald Trump’s plan to build more infrastructural projects, The Nation has learnt.
Nigeria’s exports to the U.S. fell from 950,000 barrels per day (bpd)  in 2010 to 57,000 bpd in 2015.
Also, Angola suffered a decline in oil exports to U.S. as its exports fell from 484,000 bpd in 2009 to 124,000 bpd in 2015.
However, all that has been confined to past as Trump plans to build more infrastructure for oil and gas.
The former President, Association of International Energy Economist, Prof Adeola Akinnisiju, said if the plans materialise, it would open the door for production increase for Nigeria.
He said Nigeria, which once had the U.S. as the main customer for exports, may find new opportunities to reignite its upstream sector as past oil selling agreements between the two countries become attractive once again.
Akinnisiju said Nigeria was more likely to benefit from hypothetical unmet growing oil demand in the U.S. than Angola, adding that Angola had built stronger ties with China which is its main crude oil buyer in the recent years.
He said the past two years witnessed low oil prices for U.S. and other countries, noting that the development created room for a considerable stocking of oil.
Akinnisiju said: “For sometime now, members and non members of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have  had difficult times, getting enough earnings from the sales of crude oil. The development made U.S. and other countries to stock their oil, with the hope of selling it when the price goes up. The time has come for such countries to sell their crude and mak more money from it.’’

Arik Air management to challenge AMCON’s takeover

The management of Arik Air on Thursday said it would challenge the taking over of the airline by the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) in court.
Capt. Ado Sanusi, Senior Vice President, Arik Air made, the disclosure at a joint news briefing with the newly appointed receiver Manager, Mr Oluseye Opasanya (SAN) and the airline’s technical consultant, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu.
AMCON had taken over the airline following its huge indebtedness oF the company TO both local and foreign creditors.
However, Sanusi said the Arik Management had been served with a valid court order empowering AMCON to take over the affairs of the airline.
“As responsible citizens, we have obeyed the court order which appointed the Olaniwun Ajayi (SAN) as the receivership manager.
“We will comply but I want to make it clear that we have a right to challenge the court order.
“In the coming days, we will make our position known. It is a court order and we can challenge it and we will challenge it to the highest court of authority,” Sanusi said.
He added that while the legal battle would be on one front, the parties had agreed that Arik Air would continue to run without any disruption.
Also speaking, Opasanya said AMCON was on a rescue mission to reposition the embattled airline.
Opasanya said: “AMCON has been a creditor to Arik for sometime. It also has security over substantial parts of the assets of Arik.
“The debt of Arik to AMCON has not been paid and huge sums of money is owed.
“So AMCON, having consulted widely with government authorities has decided to appoint me to preside over the affairs of Arik.
“So we have come to supervise the operation, sustain the operation, improve services and ensure that we support Arik with people of deep knowledge, experience and commitment in the airline industry.”
According to him, Arik plays a pivotal role in the airline industry and many Nigerians are currently drawing their means of livelihood from the company.
“We have addressed the workers and the management and we want to assure other stakeholders and members of the public that the desire of AMCON is to keep the airline flying.
“AMCON is willing to support the operation of Arik and together with the government, work to meet the immediate essential needs of the company, “he said.
On his part, Ilegbodu said Arik had 28 aircraft in its fleet but only 10 are currently being used for operations.
He said his duty as a technical consultant was to get to the root of the problems bedevilling the airline to ensure its sustainability.
The Nation

Private sector partnership vital to food sufficiency – Minister

Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said that private sector partnership in the agriculture sector remained vital for the country to attain food sufficiency.
Ogbeh disclosed this at the inaugural meeting of the Joint Sector Steering Committee (JSC), organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the agriculture ministry yesterday in Abuja.
He stated that it was imperative for the Federal Government to provide necessary infrastructure, control processes and oversight functions to support the private sector.
The minister, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Shehu Ahmed emphasized that the ministry was responsible to partner with major stakeholders to develop effective policies that will create conducive environment for better private sector participation in the sector.
According to him, the JSR was to provide a platform to assess the performance and results of the agriculture sector and assist government to set sector policies and priorities.
Ogbeh said: “The present administration has been able to put together an agriculture promotion policy. The purpose of the policy document is to provide a disciplined approach to building an agribusiness ecosystem that will stem the tide of food importation through import substitution so as to earn significant foreign exchange from agriculture.
“The private sector will remain in the lead while government facilitates, regulates as well as provides supporting infrastructure, system, control processes and oversight.
“It assesses how well stakeholders implemented pledges and commitment cooperation agreements in the sector. This objective is however consistent with the policy thrust of the present administration on agriculture.”
Citing instances of nations that have adopted, the minister recalled that the African Union Commission (AUC) in 2015, assisted 11 member nations which included Benin Republic, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
He added that the mentioned countries already took steps to strengthen mutual accountability based on findings of the JSRs conducted.
- The Nation

Ex-minister to court: I need cancer treatment abroad

A former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, has asked Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos to permit her to travel abroad to receive treatment for breast cancer.
She said doctors at the National Hospital recommended that she receives further treatment abroad after suffering a relapse after a surgery.
Her application, however, could not be heard because the judge ruled he would first consider a pending application challenging the court’s jurisdiction.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Usman with former Minister of Aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.
They were charged with former National Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and ex-Chairman of Kagarko Local Government of Kaduna State, Mr. Yusuf Danjuma and a company said to belong to him, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
EFCC arraigned them on a 17-count charge of laundering about N4.6billion. They pleaded not guilty.
Fani-Kayode, in his pending application, asked the judge to withdraw from the case because he was “worried and terrified” he would not get a fair hearing from Justice Hassan.
He asked the judge to decline jurisdiction and transfer the case to the court’s Abuja division, adding that Justice Hassan, who worked as a prosecutor at the Federal Ministry of Justice and later seconded to the EFCC, signed the charge for which he was previously tried and acquitted by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumobia for money laundering
Usman, in her applications, is praying the court to allow her to be tried separately from Fani-Kayode and for her trial to be transferred from Lagos to Abuja for convenience.
Yesterday, Usman’s lawyer Mr. Abiodun Owonikowo (SAN) prayed the court to consider the former minister’s application to travel abroad for medical reasons.
According to him, since it was a matter of life and death, the judge could hear it before other applications.
Besides, he said the judge, having granted the former minister of state bail, was allowed by law to vary the bail terms, including permitting her to travel abroad.
“If she collapses here now, will this case go on? She has undergone surgery and has had a relapse. Doctors at the National Hospital have recommended that she needs to get urgent medical treatment abroad.
“This is a matter as serious as breast cancer. We are all humans and can fall sick,” he said.
But, EFCC’s lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo, said Usman’s application for leave to travel cannot be heard when there were pending applications challenging the court’s jurisdiction.
He said the issue of jurisdiction ought to be determined first before all other applications could be heard.
“If they want this application (for leave to travel) to be heard, then they should withdraw the application challenging the court’s jurisdiction,” he said.
Justice Hassan held that since the defendants have applications on jurisdiction with regards to where they should be tried, as well as on fair hearing, those applications ought to be determined first.
“The law is clear. The court is obliged to determine the issue of jurisdiction first. I am inclined to take the applications challenging the competence of this court to entertain the case first,” he said.
The judge directed the defence to move the pending applications.
But, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN) said EFCC served him with the prosecution’s counter-affidavit three days ago.
He said he needed time to reply on points of law.
Justice Hassan adjourned till March 1 for hearing in all pending applications.
- The Nation

EFCC recovers looted funds in foreign currencies

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Thursday said the commission recovered N102,913,791,217.54,  $8,296,313.99,  GBP 29,155,  £12,475, 117,004 Canadian Dollar, 806.50 Dirham, 5,000 Francs and 2,000 Rupee as proceeds of crime between January and December 2016.
Magu, who appeared before the Hon. Kayode Oladele-led House Committee on Financial Crimes, also confirmed the recovery of $9.750 million and £750,000 from a residence in Kaduna recently, adding that N1.25 billion was recovered from a public servant a fortnight ago.
The EFCC chief was in the House of Representatives for 2016 budget appraisal and 2017 budget defence.
According to a document submitted by Magu to the committee, out of the 37 accounts frozen/forfeited, six banks are yet to provide relevant information on the amount accrued into the suspected accounts during the period under review.
The commission, according to him, secured 135 convictions last year.
He said 46  of the convictions were from Lagos zone, 30 from Abuja, 22 from Port Harcourt, 19 from Kano, 15 from Enugu, and three from Gombe.
- The Nation

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