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Court adjourns trial of Shell, Eni officials over bribery allegation in Nigeria

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Shell ENI, Aliyu Abubakar, AA Oil, Malabu Oil, Italian prosecutors, Netherlands, Niger Delta
  • Executives of oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, are currently facing trial in Italy over the $1.1 billion Malabu affair.
  • An Italian court today postponed to May 14 the start of the trial of the two oil-giants over alleged corruption in Nigeria.

The trial in Italy of Royal Dutch Shell and Eni executives over alleged corruption in Nigeria involving the $1.3 billion controversial sales of OPL 245 oil block has suffered another postponement till May 14.

The case popularly referred to as Malabu Oil deal involves the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield – one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks – for about $1.3 billion. Milan prosecutors had alleged that bribes were paid to win the license to explore the field, which has never entered into production. All the accused have however denied any wrongdoing.

A Former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, and a former Attorney-General, Bello Adoke, are amongst several Nigerians indicted in the deal, which was approved by Former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Shell claimed it bought the OPL 245 oil block for $1.3 billion dollars in 2011  supposedly from the Federal Government. Ultimately the money found its way to Dan Etete, a former Petroleum Minister and Owner of Malabu Oil Company who acquired the block from the Federal Government in 1998 for $20 million dollars. He was also petroleum minister at the period.

Courtesy: Global Witness

According to Buzzfeed, a Russian middleman who helped negotiate the transfer of the oil block to Shell and Eni, as saying that Dan Etete, the former Petroleum Minister at the heart of the oil scandal, said he intended to dole out as much as $400 million in bribes if the deal went through.

Several top-ranking civil servants and politicians were alleged to have collected kickbacks from the deal. This led the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) going to court, which led to an interim forfeiture order. About $80 million of the funds have been recovered by the Federal Government.

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Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via [email protected]

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Business

Burial date for late Prince Philips announced

The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in a colourful but lowkey ceremony.

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Prince Philip, the late husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, and the Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in a colourful but lowkey ceremony by royal standards.

The Buckingham palace in making the announcement stressed that the funeral service will be held according to the Covid-19 restrictions guideline with the number of mourners to be limited to 30. This means that members of the royal family including the Queen would be expected to put on face masks.

The College of Arms, which handles most of the ceremonial aspects of the royal family’s work, had earlier confirmed that the late Prince Philip would not lie in state anywhere accessible to the public, which could have seen thousands of people lining up to view his coffin.

The funeral service for Philip, who died aged 99 on Friday, will be held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence would be observed ahead of the ceremony. There will be no public access nor public procession beforehand with the royal family and UK government asking the public not to gather or leave flowers at the royal residences due to Covid-19 restrictions.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman also confirmed that Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who had moved to Los Angeles after giving up royal duties, was planning to attend his grandfather’s funeral, but his pregnant wife Meghan won’t be present as she had been advised not to travel by her physician.

In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch before retiring from his public duties in 2017, was announced on Friday, April 9, 2021.
  • He died peacefully in Windsor Castle on Friday morning and had been married to the Queen for 73 years.
  • Since his death, tributes have been flooding in from the UK and all around the world for the duke, who had recently spent a month in two London hospitals, undergoing heart surgery and treatment for an infection, before returning in mid-March to Windsor Castle.

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Sports

How we source funds to develop handball in Nigeria – Handball Federation

The Handball Federation of Nigeria discusses sponsorships, strides and progress made.

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Handball is one of the lesser-known sports in Nigeria, but that doesn’t mean it’s not making strides. Cosmos Chukwuemeka, the media assistant to the President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria, Samuel Ocheho, spoke to Ademola Kadiri in a revealing interview about several issues.

The excerpts are below:

Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Cosmos Chukwuemeka and I am the media assistant to the president of the Nigerian Handball Federation. I am also a broadcast journalist with LASU Radio where I head the Sports Unit.

We normally don’t hear a lot about the Handball Federation. What could be responsible for this?

Basically, that has to do with the sporting culture of the country. Football is the king of all sports. Everybody loves football. That has to do with the systemic disparity that keeps football ahead of other sports.

The disparity is like the sun and moon; that’s how far they are from each other. It also has to do with structure, talents and inadequacy of facilities; funding is also a big elephant in the room. Football gets 80% of the chunk while the other federations share the remaining 20%.

It’s not only about publicity. Funding also fuels publicity. All of these are the big issues. Policy defects have affected sports, in general. It is not because other sports are not trying, it is because of the defective policy and the challenges that come with it. It is basically systemic.

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How does the Federation source for funds?

When the present president came on board, the sport was almost in comatose. They were not attending competitions and grassroots competitions were not being organized. In the 80s, Nigeria used to be the king of handball, but in the 90s, everything fell like a pack of cards because of a whole lot of issues, mainly maladministration.

But then, Samuel Ocheho came in. He’s someone that played the sport, and as a corporate person, he understood how to drive the sport. The first thing he did was to secure the sponsorship for the league, and that was how Prudent Energy came on board. Prudent Energy and Services Limited is an energy company that sponsors the league for about 4 years now. The first phase of the league will come up in May while the second phase comes up in October.

He also ensured that there is level playing ground for individuals that want to put in their money to develop handball. Since 2018, since he became president, there have been many national and international competitions. Apart from the fact that he puts in his own money, which shows his passion, he and the Board have been able to bring a lot of attraction to the sport, so much that handball can now compete with basketball for relevance.

Do the sponsors get value for money to expand the scope of their sponsorship?

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Prudent Energy has expanded the scope of its sponsorship twice in 4 years. They are getting the dividends of their investment in the league. When they started in 2018, they got bigger and bigger. Like most energy companies, people might not know about them. They came in and a lot of people started knowing about them and started understanding what they really do.

They came into the league, and it was a big gain for handball to be able to get Prudent Energy, and the dividends for them has been massive. They have leveraged it and everyone now knows that the National Premier Handball League is sponsored by them.

At the point of the lockdown last season caused by Covid-19, they gave out palliatives to all the teams in the league, the players, and even the referees. If they were not getting Return on Investment, they wouldn’t do that at all.

What will you recommend for improving the perception of handball in Nigeria?

It’s a world of technology, and we are trying our best in that regard. We are on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We churn out content every other time, giving updates about the league, and other competitions we participate in. We stream matches live, so we are trying our best to improve the perception and publicity. We also have some media partners that have been with us from day 1.

They help in propagating the good work that the Handball Federation of Nigeria is doing for the growth and development of the sport in the country. Interviews like this also help, but ultimately, what we seek is for handball to go back to the grassroots, which is the fastest possible way to grow the sport.

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