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OPL 245: Jonathan, Diezani received bribes, FG tells London court

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The Federal Government has approached a London commercial court with claims that former President Goodluck Jonathan and former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke conspired to “receive bribes and make a secret profit” in respect of the controversial OPL 245 offshore oilfield.

Although the case is largely against Shell and the Italian oil giant Eni, the federal government accused Jonathan and Diezani of denying Nigeria what it was owed from the oil deal.

It said the duo accepted bribes and broke the laws in brokering the $1.3 billion oil deal in 2011.

“Bribes were paid. The receipt of those bribes and the participation in the scheme of said officials was in breach of their fiduciary duties and Nigerian criminal law,” it said.

The bone of contention is payment   made by Shell and Eni to acquire the licence for the oilfield thought to be one of the most lucrative in the country.

Its reserves are estimated at nine billion barrels.

Shell and Eni jointly acquired the rights to the OPL 245 offshore oilfield but the deal went awry, leading to legal cases in several countries.

Nigeria claims to have  received only  $209 million as signature bonus on the  deal, it estimates the value of the oilfield to have been “at least $3.5 billion”.

The Nigerian government has also filed a London case against U.S. bank JPMorgan for its role in transferring over $800 million of government funds to another former oil minister Chief Dan Etete, who has been convicted of money laundering.

JPMorgan has denied any wrongdoing.

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Presidency confirms Mohammed as IGP

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President Muhammadu Buhari Thursady confirmed Adamu Mohammed as the new Inspector General of police.

Mohammed’s confirmation was announced at the police council meeting which was presided over by Buhari in Aso Rock, Abuja.

The IGP was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15. He took over from former IGP, Ibrahim Idris who retired from service.

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We’ll Treat Anyone Associated With IPOB As A Terrorist – Abia CP

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The Abia State Police Command has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against any activity capable of truncating the peace and safety of the residents.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ene Okon, gave the warning in an interview on Channels Television.

He said that anyone or group of persons associated with IPOB will be termed as a terrorist and dealt with severely.

“The Nigeria Police Force In Abia will treat any person associated with IPOB as a terrorist and such a person or group of persons will be dealt with according to the law”.

The commissioner’s comment comes in reaction to the sit-at-home-order issued by the proscribed movement, scheduled to come into effect on May 30, 2019.

He noted that security personnel have been put in strategic places, thereby assuring residents to go about their activities without fear.

“I am assuring the good people of Abia to disregard the illegal order and go about their normal businesses as there is every assurance of protection of lives and properties”, he added.

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EFCC arrests Kwara Assembly clerk over alleged N400m severance pay

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating alleged illegal payment of about N400 million to some members of the Kwara state House of Assembly, it was gathered.

Accordingly, the anti-graft body is quizzing Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sola Gold and the Clerk of the state House of Assembly, Kperogi Halimat Jummai over the alleged payment.

EFCC source maintained that the payment did not follow due process.

It was gathered that all the 24 lawmakers were two weeks ago paid the sum of N400 million severance package, when their tenure is yet to expire.

The petitioner said even though the lawmakers and members of the state executive council are entitled to severance package, it is the next administration that is supposed to pay the money, a source at the EFCC has said.

“More worrisome is the issue of furniture allowance running to hundreds of millions of naira according to the petitioner which they wanted it pay along with severance package,” the petitioner added.

Speaker of the Assembly Dr Ali Ahmed had in a letter with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, confirmed that the lawmakers are entitled to severance package at the end of their tenure on June 7th this year.

The letter reads that “in accordance with the provisions of the revenue mobilization, allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) honourable members are entitled to 200 percent of their annual basic salaries as their severance gratuity allowance at the end of their tenure of office.”

The clerk of the house, Halimat Jummai Kperogi confirmed that the lawmakers had received their severance package.

She was said to have told the operatives of the EFCC that Governor Ahmed approved the payment of the package.

Kperogi said “in a meeting of the principal officers of the Kwara House of Assembly wherein I was scheduled to be the secretary, held on May 8th, 2019, issue of severance gratuity to the honourable members was raised, the principal officers were informed that the state government has approved the payment of the severance gratuity.”

“At the meeting, I informed the house that the governor had approved the payment. I added that members were expected to be paid after the expiration of their tenure of office. The house debated it and they overruled me.”

Alhaji Gold on the other hand wrote and sought for the approval of the severance gratuity and furniture allowances amounting to about N300 million for some members of the state executive council.

Gold, in a letter to the governor dated May 8th, 2019 said “your Excellency, by virtue of the provisions of Kwara state remuneration of political and public office holders laws, certain category of political and public office holders are entitled to severance and furniture allowances of their basic salaries respectively upon
successful completion of tenure.”

Alhaji Gold said that while the lawmakers had received their monies, members of the state executive council are yet to receive their gratuity.

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