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FG Writes US Court; Seeks Jonathan, Patience, Diezani’s Account Details In 10 Foreign Banks

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The Federal Government has asked a court in New York, the United States of America, to compel 10 foreign banks to release to its account details of former President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, Patience, and the then Minister of Petroleum Resources in his administration, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

But Jonathan on Tuesday denied owning a foreign bank account.

Bloomberg reports that the banks from whom the Federal Government is seeking the documents include, Citigroup and JPMorgan, as well as the New York branches of Deutsche Bank AG and United Bank for Africa Plc.

The Federal Government’s request was contained in an application filed at the foreign court on March 24 asking for the bank documents.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, is said to have asked for the bank documents in its bid to overturn the P&ID $9.6bn judgment.

The $9.6bn award was issued against Nigeria and in favor of P&ID in a January 31, 2017 ruling of a London arbitration tribunal, which held the Federal Government liable for the breach of a 20-year gas supply agreement signed in 2010 between P&ID and Nigeria, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The London Commercial Court in a judgment delivered on August 16, 2019, gave P&ID a go-ahead to enforce the London arbitration panel’s award of the sum of $9.6bn.

But the Federal Government is seeking to overturn the award.

According to Bloomberg, the Federal Government is seeking the bank documents to enable it to prove that the $9.6bn arbitration was obtained by Process and Industrial Development by fraud.

The Federal Government said in the court document that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is probing the roles of two former petroleum ministers, the late Rilwanu Lukman and his successor, Alison-Madueke.

It, however, said it had yet to find “direct evidence” that Jonathan, Alison-Madueke, and other politicians received payments from P&ID or its affiliates, the country said in its court filings.

But Malami stated in the court document, “There is good reason to believe that ministers at the highest level were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria.”

The Federal Government said Lukman, who was then the Minister of Petroleum signed the contract while Alison-Madueke was responsible for the “flagrant mishandling” of the government’s arbitration strategy until 2015, the country said.

A spokesman for P&ID denied wrongdoing, arguing that Malami has “manufactured a claim of fraud and bribery” to evade the state’s legal obligation to pay what amounts to about 30% of the country’s foreign reserves.

Malami’s application is “nothing but an absurdly overbroad fishing expedition,” P&ID said in an April 24 court filing.

But Jonathan has however denied having any foreign accounts whose details could be requested for.

In a statement by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, the ex-President said he or his wife was not contacted before the request for the documents was filed by the Federal Government.

Eze stated, “Our attention has been drawn to international media reports to the effect that the Federal Government of Nigeria has subpoenaed bank records for former President Goodluck Jonathan, and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan in the United States of America.

“We state that the Federal Government of Nigeria did not contact Dr Jonathan or his wife before issuing these subpoenas. If they had, we would have advised them of the fact that you cannot subpoena what does not exist. We also remind the public that on March 5, 2014, during the swearing-in of new ministers, then President Jonathan said “I am loyal to Nigeria’s economy. I don’t have accounts or property abroad.”

“We are confident in stating that between that time and now, nothing has changed with regards to Dr Goodluck Jonathan. He has no accounts in the United States of America, and encourages US authorities to cooperate fully with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s subpoena.”

BIG STORY

BREAKING: APC Nullifies Suspension Of Fayemi, Ojudu, Others

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has nullified the suspension of Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi, presidential aide Senator Femi Ojudu and others.

Fayemi and the Paul Omotosho-led State Executives Council were suspended for alleged anti-party activities by the State Executives Committee (SEC) on Friday.

The development came barely 24 hours after the Omotosho-led executives suspended Ojudu and 10 others following a report of the Patrick Ajigbolamu-led eight-man disciplinary committee set up to probe allegations of anti-party activities levelled against them.

But in a statement on Friday by Deputy National Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, APC said the suspensions were a “nullity.”

The party said: “The attention of the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a purported and widely-reported “suspension” of the Governor of Ekiti State, H.E. Kayode Fayemi as well as an earlier reported, “indefinite suspension” of some other party members in the state.

“The actions are a nullity as the Party’s National Secretariat is yet to receive communication from the state chapter on the purported “suspensions”. We strongly advise all members to adhere to our Party constitution.

“Governor Kayode Fayemi remains the leader of the party in Ekiti State.

“In line with the mandate of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee and the President’s admonition to party members to ensure and support ongoing amicable and rancour-free settlement of internal party disputes, we call on our esteemed party members and leaders in Ekiti State to be duly guided.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Architect Paul Omotosho-chaired APC Ekiti State Working Committee is the authentic, valid, and duly recognized Executive as no factions or divisions exist in the State Chapter.”

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JUST IN: Ekiti APC Crisis Deepens As Factional SEC Suspends Governor Fayemi Over Anti-Party Activities

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The internal crisis rocking the ruling All Progressive Congress in Ekiti took a new dimension on Friday as some statutory members of the State Executive Committee(SEC) suspended Governor Kayode Fayemi over alleged anti-party activities.

According to the allegations against Fayemi, the SEC members said he worked against Edo APC candidate, Pastor Ize Iyamu, and supported Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP).

The statutory members of the SEC also imposed sanctions on the party chairman, Paul Omotosho, and other executives by suspending them.

They alleged they were products of the list hurriedly compiled through undemocratic means by Fayemi.

The suspension came barely 24 hours after the party suspended a presidential aide, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, and 10 others following a report of the Patrick Ajigbolamu-led eight-man disciplinary committee set up to probe allegations of anti-party activities leveled against them.

The decision suspending Fayemi and all the state Working Committee was carried out at an emergency meeting of the State Executive Committee of the party on September 23.

The SEC members, in a statement on Friday, said Fayemi was suspended in view of his alleged numerous anti-party activities, especially his role in the recently concluded governorship election in Edo State which is contrary to the provisions of Article 21 (A) (ii) of the APC Constitution.

Signatories to the statement include Senator Tony Adeniyi, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, former House of Representatives members Bimbo Daramola, Hon Robinson Ajiboye, Hon Oyetunji Ojo, former Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Adewale Omirin and Hon. Femi Adeleye.

According to the statement titled: “Re: Dr. Fayemi Anti-party Activities”, Senator Adeniyi was appointed as the SEC acting
chairman owing to what they described as the “absence of direction from the National Body” and was adjudged as “the only one thus capable to call the SEC meeting as duly required by the constitution”.

The ruling APC has been wallowing in a fierce self-inflicted political storm for a long time. The crisis has inexplicably defied spirited attempts made to ensure that peace reigns with the party split into two factions; one camp is led by Governor Kayode Fayemi, while the other is led by Senator Ojudu.

The intense political battle may not be unconnected with a subtle but fierce struggle among its leading chieftains, for the control of the state ahead of the 2022 gubernatorial poll.

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A Certain Nigerian Collecting Illegal $36,000 Monthly For Secure Anchorage From Ship Owners —– Amaechi Alleges

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The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has registered his displeasure with continuous patronage of illegal harbours known as secure anchorage areas.

According to the minister, an individual has sought to exploit the industry by collecting $1,200 daily for secure anchorage in the country from ship owners.

He said this while delivering a virtual keynote address at the 2020 World Maritime Day Celebration which held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos.

The minister said the issue was quite unsettling.

He said, “There is a crisis in the maritime sector. The crisis is on the issue of security.

“Today, we have a single individual partnering with the military that is collecting $1,200 to the detriment of shipping companies.

“That one individual is still managing the business with the support of other institutions.”

He accused stakeholders of doing nothing to the individual, stressing that no one other than the minister had the right to step up a secure anchorage area.

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