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$2.1b arms deals: Jonathan’s men return cash



Several  former  high-ranking officials in the Jonathan administration have started returning looted funds, it was learnt  last night.

Besides, they are begging the Federal Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to shelve plans to put them on trial.

Four such ex-top government officials have refunded N1.4billion in the last one week alone, an authoritative source said yesterday.

This sum does not include the N7billion said to have been paid back to the AVM Jon Ode Committee which investigated about 300 companies and individuals who collected money from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)  without executing the jobs for which they were paid.

However, a few others are said to have opted to face trial instead of returning money which they claimed had been spent on  2015 presidential campaign.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that some of the beneficiaries of the looted funds have actually paid back  or promised to do so.

Those affected have been mounting pressure on  the presidency, the EFCC and the

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for soft landing against trial.

The government is yet to take a position on whether or not those who have returned their loot will be prosecuted.

A  source  said: “One of those who served under the former President has returned about N750million given to him by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for campaign. He was able to make up because he didn’t spend the cash. He kept it for private use.

“Some have  paid back more than N650million.

“A former minister has pledged to refund over N1billion. Another beneficiary of the curious contracts has promised the EFCC to sell a few properties to be able to return about N2.1billion.

“A former military governor has also refunded the cash advanced to him by ONSA to buy a house.

“Many of these former public officers and contractors are effecting refunds to avoid being named and shamed.

“They don’t want trial. Some have volunteered to serve as prosecution witnesses instead of going through the rigours of trial.

“At the appropriate time, the list of those who have refunded money in one way or the other will be published.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “The government is preoccupied with the recovery of looted funds. At the appropriate time, the fate of those who have refunded cash will be determined by what the law says.”

But some of the suspects have refused to return looted funds which they claimed had been disbursed for 2015 poll.

They said  the cash was given to them on the order of former President Jonathan.

They also said the funds were privately disbursed to them by the campaign committee and PDP officials without telling them the source(s) of the money.

Another source said: “Some of those implicated in the collection of some funds have opted for outright trial because they did not benefit while carrying out presidential directives.

“Some former ministers said the amount credited to them came from private accounts for the 2015 campaign and nobody can accuse them of diverting public funds.”

About 300 persons and companies were indicted by an investigative committee a week ago.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu, on Thursday  claimed that the ONSA committee had recovered over N7billion from those culpable.

The indicted companies are to refund another N41 billion.

But the investigating agencies, including the EFCC, will determine whether another N75 billion should be recovered from some of the companies.

Shehu said the ONSA committee had found out that one of the indicted companies, Societe D’Equipment International, was overpaid by 7.9 million euros and $7.09 million.

It noted that many contractors were apparently over paid, while others were given full upfront payments contrary to their contract terms and agreements.

The panel also uncovered evidence of payments to individuals and companies by ONSA without any contractual agreement or evidence of jobs executed.

The committee discovered that some companies failed to fulfill their tax obligations for contracts executed.

Fifteen firms, the panel said, were awarded contracts that require further investigation to ascertain their status. The total value of the contracts in this category was N11, 726,571,161.00, $202,136,890.00 and €4,114,752.96.

The companies include: “Abrahams Telecommunication Limited and Value Trust Investment Limited – RC 1050628 and RC133792, Bilal Turnkey Contractors Limited RC 616389, Circular Automobile Limited – RC 953549, Continental Project Associates Limited – RC 1201210 and Da’voice Network Solutions Limited RC 658879.

Others are Foretech Investment Limited – RC 759046, Forts and Sheild Limited – RC 1148793, GDP Associated Limited – RC 830715, Hakimco Automobiles – RC 904389, Hamada Properties and Investment Limited – RC635720, International Resources Management Company RC228657, Investment Options Limited – RC 133484, Jakadiya Picture Company Limited RC 270972, JBE Multimedia Investment Limited – RC 48875, Kamala Motors Limited RC 845545 and Key Information Services Limited RC 297516.

Also investigated are Leeman Communications Limited RC 499781, MCAF Associates RC 734745, Moortown Global Investment – RC 968416, Syntec Nigeria Limited – RC 220165, Trafiga Limited – RC 1098961, Trim Communications Limited – RC 261180, Securicor Emergency and Safety RC 431246, Sologic Integrated Services Limited RC 744982, Wada Autos Limited RC 1082513, Zukhruf Nigeria Limited RC 306244, 2020 Nigeria Limited RC 1090292 and A and B Associates Limited RC 279980.

The individuals and companies that received payments without contractual agreements include: Bello Matawalle, Brig-Gen. A.S. Mormoni-Bashir (the former Principal General Staff Officer at the ONSA, who is still  serving), Alhaji Umar Sani, Dr Yakubu Sanky, Baba Bala, Ambassador Clement Layiwola Laseinde (a Director in the ONSA) and an architect from Baitil Atiq Travels and Tours.

Others are Alhaji Shuaibu Salisu (the former Director of Finance and Administration at (ONSA), Col. Bello Fadile (rtd) (Special Adviser to Lt Col Sambo Dasuki; former NSA), Mr Otunla Jonah Niyi, Otunba Adelakun, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, Dr Tunji Olagunju, Miss Oluwatoyin Oluwagbayi and Lt Col MS Dasuki (rtd) (the former NSA).

Also listed are Maipata Mohammed Abubakar, Mohammed Suleiman from Musaco investment and properties, Ibrahim Abdullahi also from Musaco investment and properties, Alhaji Aliyu Usman and 18 other officers that served in the ONSA.

The companies that failed to execute contracts or did so partially and have been asked to refund various sums are: A and Hatman Limited, Abuja Consulting Limited, Afro-Arab Investment, Agbede A Adeshina and Co, Aleppo Systems Nigeria Limited – RC 947255, Amp Africa Holdings and Solar Services, Apple Drops Nigeria Limited – RC 1102219, Apt Security Limited – RC 165189, Autoforms Integrated Enterprises Limited – RC 1234829, Axis Consulting Services Limited – RC 1151145, Belsha Nigeria Limited, Community Defence Law Foundation – RC/IT No 56854, Complus International Service Limited, Cosse Limited – RC 316214, Daar Investment and Holdings Limited, Dalhatu Investment Limited – RC 404535, Destra Investment Limited and Development Strategies International Limited – RC 361191.

Others are DFX/White Zebu BDC – RC787658/RC1049919, Duchy Concepts Limited RC392281, Fara Security Limited RC 694607, Fimex Gilt Nigeria Limited  –RC 143150, First Aralac Global Limited RC939512, Fix-HYL Global Investment RC1129654, Good year Properties Limited RC1168828, Image Merchant Promotions Limited RC 416703.

Interglobal Limited RC 189188, Jos Peace Dialogue Forum CAC/IT/No75434, Kakatar Limited RC 443321, Leaderette Nigeria/Norden Global RC 422129/RC1119925, London Advertising Limited UK BASED, Mithra Oil Limited RC 620979, NigerLink BOG (Under Musaco Investment)

RC 834592, Iban Global (Under Musaco Investment), Musaco Investment (Bank Charges), Mystrose Limited RC 475579, NAF Holding Company Limited.

Also listed are: Peach Tree Communications Limited RC 410115, Perception BDC RC 740741, Pioneer Ventures RC 69776, Proptex Nigerian Limited – RC 116801, Prosedec Interglobal Limited RC 619845, Real Property Investment Limited RC 294761, Sinash Communications Limited RC 333134, Skytick International Limited RC 798693, Soject Nigeria Limited – RC 74991 and StellaVera Development Company Limited RC 713258.

Others who defaulted in their contractual agreements include Teracon AG SWISS BASED, Wehsec Farms Limited – RC 713258, African Cable Television Limited RC 1113903, BCN Nigeria Limited RC 50969, Brains and Hammers RC 655673, Concept Options Ultimate Limited – RC 604167, Elizade Nigeria Limited RC 11544, Emerging Platforms Limited – RC 922205, EMI System Nigeria Limited – RC 248986, Hadassa Investment and Security – RC 709085, Kala Consulting Solutions Limited – RC 98562, Pioneer Ventures, Nan Bizcom Nigeria Limited RC 680708, Nerres Limited RC 1138835, Plectrum Consulting Limited RC 937931, Protech Consultant – RC 301426, Summit Publications Limited RC 304671, Telios Development Limited RC 468351, Urban Abode Nigeria Limited RC 651613, RCN Networks Limited RC 439720, Sail International Limited – RC 97863, Suburban Broadway Limited – RC 469689, Geronimo Middle East and Africa, Julius Berger – RC 6852, Romgat Morgan Nigeria Limited – RC 902020, and Stallion Motors Limited RC 178627.

Contracts awarded to the following companies are to be further investigated: 2020 Nigeria Limited RC 1090292, Acacia Holdings Limited RC 940978, Africair Incorporated US Company, Augusta Westland Limited, Almond Project Limited, Bam Project and Properties, Bob Oshodin Organisation Limited – RC 790662, Coral Builders Limited – RC 397748, Dan Clington Nigeria Limited – RC 940978, Law Partners and Associates BN/UY/004566, Magnificient 5 ventures Limited BN/2299463, MPS Global Services Limited.

Others are One plus Holdings Nigeria Limited RC 695999, Quadsix Nigeria Limited – RC 1177968, and Reliance Reference Hospitals.



WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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