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P&ID: Nigeria files fraud charge in bid to overturn nearly $10bn penalty

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Lawyers for the Nigerian government filed “new and substantive” allegations of fraud with a British court on Friday, carrying on a fight against an arbitration award now worth close to $10 billion, a spokesman for the attorney general said.

The government has been contesting efforts by British Virgin Islands-based Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) to enforce the award for a failed gas project and is also seeking to overturn the underlying award, the spokesman said.

The filing has been expected for months, as the window to appeal the award expired and proving fraud or corruption in the foundation of the contract is the only way to overturn it.

“Nigeria’s new filings with the English Court is an act of desperation to try to undo the Court’s sound conclusion that P&ID’s $10 billion award is enforceable,” P&ID said, adding that the award is now worth $10 billion due to interest accrued.

Attorney-General Abubakar Malami and other government officials have repeatedly said that an investigation this year by the country’s anti-graft unit had uncovered proof of fraud.

“The challenge argues that the (contract) was procured on the basis of fraud and corruption, while the subsequent arbitral process was riddled with irregularities and deliberately concealed from the rest of the government,” Malami’s spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The attorney general’s office calculates the total to be roughly $9.7 billion. Details on the evidence uncovered were not available as the spokesman said that court filings and documents are sealed until they are referred to in open court.

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Nigeria’s anti-graft unit has already charged a former government lawyer with allegedly taking bribes and charged two Britons with money laundering in relation to the case.

The 2010 deal called for P&ID, which was set up solely for the project, to build a gas processing plant, and for the government to supply it with gas.

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It collapsed without any construction taking place, though P&ID said it spent $40 million on a design and feasibility study. P&ID initiated arbitration in 2012, and in 2017, a UK tribunal awarded P&ID $6.6 billion, plus interest, based on what it could have earned over two decades.

The award is accruing more than $1 million in interest per day and is now worth close to a quarter of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.

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JUST IN: Air Peace sacks 70 pilots

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Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace has fired over 70 pilots across its fleets.

According to a leaked statement obtained by our correspondent, the management of the airline linked the disengagement of the pilots’ contract to the devasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It can be recalled that the Pilots on July 22nd protested a major pay cut after negotiations with the management over pilots’ remuneration broke down.

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The management of Air Peace denied the reports by issuing a statement that its pilots were not on strike as insinuated in the social media.

Notably amongst those affected are those who were signatories to the agitations.

 

 

 

 

 

Details later…

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Sanwo-Olu pays debt of 45-year-old man who attempted to commit suicide on third mainland bridge (Photo)

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The Police in Lagos state recently rescued a 45-year-old man, Adeyinka Abiodun, who attempted to jump into the lagoon on July 31.

A statement by the state police command’s spokesperson, Bala Elkana, says Adeyinka was rescued and taken to Bariga Police Station for questioning and debriefing.

According to Bala, Adeyinka who is married with two children, said sometime in March this year, he took a N390,000 loan with a monthly repayment plan for six months and accrued interest of N142,287:25 from a microfinance bank in Lagos Island.

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Bala said Adeyinka who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Masters Degree in Business Administration, told the police that the loan was collected with the intent to upgrade his wine retail business, but the business failed and the money lost.

The Police spokesman said the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, moved with compassion, came to the rescue by repaying Adeyinka’s loan which has been confirmed at the microfinance bank.

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Bala said this would be the 8th suicide attempt successfully foiled by the Police in Lagos, in the last two months.

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It’s shameful educated Yoruba youths are dying in desert, sea in bids to enter Europe – Prof Banji Akintoye

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The President of Yoruba World Congress, Prof Banji Akintoye,

The President of Yoruba World Congress, Prof Banji Akintoye, has decried the trafficking of Yoruba youths to some European countries and other parts of the world for prostitution and modern-day slavery.

Akintoye blamed the massive migration of Nigerian youths abroad on poverty and the absence of youth development programmes.

“Nigerian young men and women are dying in droves in the desert trying to reach Europe. It is happening all the time and the government of Nigeria knows it,” he said in a TheCitizenNG report.

“Yoruba people are known for their love for education and an average parent in Yorubaland can do anything to send their children to school up to the university level.

“But it is wrong that we do not have plans for youth development and youth empowerment. We have identified that as a problem and that is why the Yoruba World Congress is doing something about youth development. A state government in the South-West has partnered us.

“The next step after education is youth development but we have failed to do that. That is why we have a big problem on our hand now. It is a shame that Yoruba youths, after obtaining university degrees, are dying in the desert and in the sea while trying to cross to Europe. It is also a shame that Yoruba youths are being used for prostitution and slaves in Europe and other countries.”

Meanwhile, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said the state will ensure the repatriation of all its indigenes found to have been trafficked to Lebanon.

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According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, Makinde said this while being briefed by the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters, Mrs Bolanle Sarumi-Aliyu, on the plight of Oyo State indigenes trafficked to Lebanon.

The governor said,

“This state will pay for their flights and the fees requested to conduct COVID-19 tests on each of them.”

Sarumi-Aliyu said 40 female indigenes of the state had been identified in Lebanon while the state was going ahead with identification of others to know the actual number of Oyo State indigenes being used as slaves in Lebanon.

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