Connect with us


Court orders FG to pay Delta $1.638bn derivative arrears



Businessman docked for alleged possession of fake Naira

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, ordered the Federal Government to pay 1.638 billion dollars to Delta Government being 13 per cent derivative sum due as arrears of revenue payable to the oil-rich state.

Justice Donatus Okorowo, while delivering the judgment, held that being a suit instituted to recover revenue accruing to the state government, it qualified for the undefended list.

Okorowo ruled that the development made the court to declare the plaintiff’s case as “unchallenged.”

The newsmen report that while the Attorney-General of Delta is the plaintiff, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) is the sole defendant in the suit.

The plaintiff, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/660/2012 and filed on July 12 by his counsel, Ken Njemanze, SAN, urged the court to compel the AGF to pay five per cent of 50 billion dollars recovered as additional revenue accrued to the Nigerian government.

Justice Okorowo dismissed the AGF’s preliminary objections, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit as well as the mode in which the case was instituted as ‘undefended list.’

Also read: Olejeme: Court admits ex-chairman NSITF, to bail, over Alleged funds diversion

Newsmen report that Okorowo had, in an ex-parte application on July 22, ruled that the “plaintiff’s writ of summons be marked and placed on the undefended list.”

The judge, therefore, granted all the reliefs of the Delta government.

“The suit succeeds on its merit and all the reliefs sought by plaintiff are granted,” he ruled.

Newsmen report that Delta government, through its Attorney-General, had in an affidavit setting forth the grounds upon which its claim was based, urged the court to “direct the defendant (AGF) to pay the sum of $ 1,638,396,277.00 (One billion, six hundred and thirty-eight million, three hundred and ninety-six thousand, two hundred and seventy-seven United States dollars) being the 13 per cent derivative sum due as arrears of revenue payable to Delta as assessed.

“A consequential order of this court compelling the defendant to net off and pay five per cent of the said sum as per clause 3.0(v) of the defendant’s letter of engagement dated 12 April, 2018 and clause 3.0(v) the defendant’s further letter of engagement dated Nov. 19, 2018, pursuant to clause lll(d) of the terms of the settlement made the (consent) judgment by the Supreme Court.

“10 per cent  post-judgment interest at court rate on the said $ 1,638,396,277.00 (One billion, six hundred and thirty-eight million, three hundred and ninety-six thousand, two hundred and seventy-seven United States dollars) to the plaintiff until final liquidation thereof.”

While urging the court to discountenance the AGF’s claim that it was not a party to the suit lodged by the Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers governments, the plaintiff said,” The suit described above was instituted in the Supreme Court for the enforcement of the general of the littoral states (of which Delta is one.)

It added, “The plaintiff has a pecuniary interest in the said suit and its outcome affects her rights and or liabilities.”

However, in an affidavit disclosing defence on merit by Mr Tbomas Etah, staff at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, the AGF had argued that Delta was not a party in the terms of settlement in the suit between the Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers State governments delivered by the Supreme Court.

He further contended that “it will not serve the interest of justice to grant the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant without full hearing.

“That the terms of settlement in question have been entered as judgement of the court between the parties before the court.”

In the defendant’s notice of preliminary objection dated Sept. 22, the lawyer submitted that the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court under Section 251 of the Constitution did not include adjudication between a state and the federation.

“The subject matter of this suit is a dispute between the Delta as a state and the federation.

“That the subject matter relates to the recovery of revenue accruing to the federation account, the beneficiaries of which are the federation and the states of the federation.

“That the subject matter of this suit is not to be commenced by way of undefended list,” the AGF lawyer had argued, urging the court to dismiss the suit.

But Justice Okorowo granted the reliefs sought by the plaintiff.

“Judgment is hereby entered on the claims of the plaintiff in this case.

This is the order of this court,” he declared.

It would be recalled that the Federal High Court, Abuja had, in June, gave a similar ordered that the Federal Government should pay 951 million dollars to the Bayelsa Government as 13 per cent derivative sum due as arrears of revenue.

Also, the court ordered the Federal Government to pay the sum of 3.3 billion dollars to Rivers and Akwa Ibom governments, being their revenue share from crude oil sales.

The Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers governments had sued the AGF at the Supreme Court, demanding an upward adjustment of the shares of revenues accruing to the Nigerian government whenever the price of crude oil exceeds 20 dollars per barrel.



N43.5m Fraud: BDC Operator Testifies Against Fatuyi, NOGASA Chairman



N43.5m Fraud: BDC Operator Testifies Against Fatuyi, NOGASA Chairman

A Bureau de Change Operator, Mr Musa Mohammed, on Thursday testified against the Chairman of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), Philips Fatuyi, charged with N43.5 million fraud.

Fatuyi is standing trial alongside his company, Oceanview Oil and Gas Ltd., on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretences.

He, however, pleaded not guilty before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

Mohammed was led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr  Spife Owede.

The witness told the court that he received an invitation from EFCC to come for questioning as part of investigations into the alleged offences of the defendant.

“I came across the defendant sometime in September 2016. He gave me $40,000 cash to help him change.

“I called my colleague to come and help pay the money into his account at the rate of $1 to N463 sum of N18,520,000.

“Afterwards, I received an invitation from the EFCC to come for questioning as part of investigations into the offences by the defendant.

“I wrote a  statement at the EFCC in which I told investigators how I got to know the defendant and the business transaction we had together,” the witness said.

The statement of the witness was admitted in evidence and marked  Exhibit P8, following no objections from defence counsel, Mr Olarewaju Ajanaku.

The witness told the court while being cross-examined by Ajanaku that he got to know the defendant in 2016 and that the business transaction he had with him was the only one between them.

Owede thereafter informed the court that Mohammed was the prosecution’s last witness, adding that the prosecution would be closing its case against the defendant.

Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until May 26 for the defendant to open defence.

Continue Reading


EFCC arrests 23 suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu



EFCC arrests 23 suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu

Its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, stated in Abuja on Wednesday that the suspects were arrested around Monark, Emene and Golf Course axis of Enugu, following actionable intelligence.

“The suspects are Ugwuanyi Kasiemobi, Emmanuel Agwu, Onyeama Arinze, Hycienth Emmanuel, Chibueze Oluebube, Ogaraku Obinna, Chibueze Onyedikachi, Austus Chiemerem, Ikechi Faithful and Okafor Chika.

“Others are Chimaobi Joshua, Onuoha Oluebubu, Udo Stanley, Igbo Ikenna, Nweke David, Obinna Obumneme, Okocha Ewah, Nweke Chidera, Justice Mba, David Nweke, Eze Chiwetalu, Nweke Chidubem and Ikechi David.

“Items recovered from them included one Mercedez Benz E350, one Lexus ES350, one Mercedes Benz CLE, one Toyota Camry, a Toyota Avalon and a black Mercedes Benz,’’ he stated.

Uwujaren added that other items recovered from the suspects who had made useful statements to the EFCC were 43 mobile phones, 11 laptop computers and charms.

They would be charged in court upon conclusion of investigation, he assured.

Continue Reading


Alleged BVN fraud: Investigation outcome’ll determine fate of ex-agitators -PAP



Alleged BVN fraud: Investigation outcome’ll determine fate of ex-agitators -PAP

 The Office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) says findings from the ongoing investigation into multiple accounts of ex-agitators linked to one BVN will determine the fate of protesting beneficiaries.

This is contained in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr. Freston Akpor, Media Aide to the PAP Interim Administrator.

Akpor disclosed that the names of all those involved in the alleged BVN fraud had been forwarded to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for investigation.

He said that the Amnesty Office also blamed bank officials for colluding with the ex-agitators to aid the “financial crime”.

“So, investigation is ongoing, I must tell you there is nothing the PAP can do now over this matter until the investigation is concluded and then the ONSA will take a decision on what to do.

“This is a financial crime which is why the ONSA is investigating the matter.

“The policy is one name, one BVN. But in a situation where you have more than 30 names linked to one BVN, it becomes an issue.

“We discovered that 513 names were linked to 1370 accounts. And these are the people who have cases to answer.

“As it stands, those who are protesting are the people who fall within those who have multiple accounts linked to their BVN,” Akpor explained.

On the purported “gentleman agreement” with leaders of the ex-agitators to receive monies in bulk to pay the boys, Akpor said

“it is these same boys, that also complained that when the money is collected by these so-called leaders, the money doesn’t trickle down to them”.

A handful of ex-agitators on Tuesday gathered at the premises of the National Assembly to express anger over the stoppage of their monthly N65,000 stipends.

The PAP office had explained that the stoppage of payment was necessitated by the issues surrounding the BVNs of beneficiaries.

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick