In a landmark ruling on Friday July 6, 2018, the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria has directed the immediate release of two properties located in the United Kingdom belonging to African Billionaire businessman and CEO of the Aiteo Group (www.AiteoGroup.com), Benedict Peters that had been the subject of an Interim Forfeiture Order obtained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) without notice to him. By this decision, the court has upheld his case that the properties wholly belonged to him; were unconnected to the former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke and were unjustifiably included in a list of properties the anti-graft agency tried to seize.
In suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/228/2016, Benedict Peters and two of his companies, Rosewood Investment limited and Colinwood limited, filed applications before the Honourable Justice Binta Nyako, seeking the discharge of the forfeiture order that she had made in April and June 2016 affecting their properties. The factual summary of the case put before the court was that he is the exclusive and beneficial owner of the following properties: Flat 5, Parkview, 83-86 Prince Albert Road, London; Flat 58 Harley House, Marylebone Road, London and 270-17 street, Unit #4204, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, that were wrongly included in a list of 19 properties in the order as allegedly belonging to the former minister.
In an application argued on his behalf by Chief Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the court was urged to vacate the orders because EFCC’s premise for alleging that the properties belonged to Allison-Madueke was manifestly unfounded and not supported by any shred of evidence. Relying on the contentions that EFCC acted “upon gross misstatements, concealment and misrepresentation of facts,” sought and obtained ex-parte an interim order of forfeiture of the properties, Chief Olanipekun argued that “that the mandatory condition precedent to the grant of the interim forfeiture order was not complied with and due process of law was not followed in obtaining the interim order of forfeiture”. For the applicants, it was further asserted that concealment of accurate, relevant information from the judge when the order was made was fatal to EFCC’s case. The applications were based also on a number of significant legal arguments demonstrating the unsustainability of the order.
In her judgement, the Honourable Justice Nyako referred to a decision of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) handed down by Justice Musa in which Peters was a Defendant and declared that “…a subsisting judgement of a Court of coordinate jurisdiction has found and held inter alia that the property listed as Flat 58 Harley House, Marylebone Road, London, and the property listed as Flat 5, Parkview, 83-86 Prince Albert Road, St John’s Wood, London have been subject of the litigation in the suit before the High Court of the FCT, where a judgement of the Court dated 5th December 2017 was made which orders have declared that, these said properties amongst others having being legitimately acquired by the Defendant, they cannot be forfeited to the government under any circumstances.”
Justice Nyako accordingly directed that “the order of interim forfeiture that was made in this case cannot override or supersede an order of final judgement of a court of coordinate jurisdiction.” The learned judge then ordered that in that event, those properties could not continue to be restrained by the order EFCC had obtained and consequently directed the immediate release of the London properties.
However, with regard to the property in the US, the judge took the view that the property would remain affected by the order until further evidence seemingly in the same mould as that produced to the FCT High Court was placed before the court. The US property was not dealt with in the FCT case.
This latest court ruling follows other judgements vindicating Mr Peters from the various allegations that have been very publicly aired by EFCC. On December 5, 2017, the High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory declared that earnings and assets accruing to him were acquired legally through legitimate sources. Also, on March 21, 2018, an FCT High Court voided EFCC’s unilateral declaration of him as ‘Wanted,’ describing it as ultra vires, unconstitutional and a flagrant violation of his Fundamental rights. On 7 December 2017, another FCT High Court, in a suit brought against him, declared that a donation of $60m he made to a political party was a legitimate donation and did not violate any provisions of the laws of Nigeria.
His belief in the primacy of the Rule of Law and inviolability of the judicial process continues to be justified by a series of judicial verdicts and pronouncements supporting his position. These outcomes have been achieved in various cases in which he has been represented by a robust legal team comprising some of the foremost advocates in the country. The team, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, a former leader of the Nigeria Bar, comprises senior lawyers Kanu Agabi SAN and Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, both former Attorneys General and Ministers of Justice of the Federation, renowned Constitutional and Human Rights Lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, Messrs Paul Usoro, SAN, Rotimi Oguneso SAN and A U Mustapha, SAN. All Senior Advocates (the equivalents of Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom) are distinguished practitioners at the apex of legal practice in Nigeria. Others lawyers include Ebenezer Obeya, Chief Andrew Oru, Mrs Boma Alabi, Messrs Chidi Nobis-Elendu, Emeka Ozoani and Joseph Nwatu.
Olanipekun, who is described as Nigeria’s Avant-Garde lawyer, is referred to as of Nigeria’s leading trial lawyer. Kanu Agabi, an accomplished litigator, served Nigeria twice as Attorney General as did Akin Olujinmi whose core practice is also litigation. Mike Ozekhome’s reputation as one of Nigeria’s foremost Constitutional Law and Human Rights advocates draws from a lifelong career of fighting oppression and injustice through courts and social advocacy. Paul Usoro is a nationally acclaimed litigation and transaction expert whose core areas span the gamut of commercial law practice. Excellent all-rounders Oguneso (of the stable of Abdullah Ibrahim, SAN, also a former Attorney General of the Federation) and Mustapha make up the team of Senior Advocates. Others in the team include Security law expert Ebenezer Obeya, dual qualified and former President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association Boma Alabi as well as the combative Andrew Oru.
The FSDH Dollar Fund by FSDH Asset Management is finally here
The objective of the Fund is to provide customers with the opportunity to invest.
On the 15th of June 2020, FSDH Asset Management, experienced fund managers that provide stellar investment solutions tailored to suit the financial position and goals of their clients, launched a new product; The FSDH Dollar Fund.
The Fund is an open-ended mutual fund that will invest in US Dollar denominated Fixed Income Securities issued by Nigerian Sovereign and Corporate Entities, and is authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission in accordance with the provisions of Section 160 of the ISA.
The objective of the Fund is to provide customers with the opportunity to invest in dollar-denominated instruments, in order to achieve consistent cash flow and capital appreciation over the long term. Investors are able to enjoy significantly higher returns than what is obtainable from the average domiciliary account in local banks.
The minimum amount required to invest in the Fund is $1,000. To get started, click here to view the prospectus and apply. Interested investors can send completed application forms to [email protected].
Coronation Research releases report on the Nigerian Investment terrain
…Navigating the Capital Market: the Investor’s Dilemma.
Coronation Research today published its report on the Nigerian Investment landscape titled ‘Navigating the Capital Market: the Investor’s Dilemma’. The revolutionary report studies the Nigerian investment scene over a 10-year period and finds how Nigerians have managed to preserve their capital over the long term. Some of the conclusions are surprising. For example, it has been remarkably easy to beat inflation over the last 10-years by buying Federal Government of Nigeria Treasury Bills. However, with the crash in interest rates in the first half of 2020, this era has come to an abrupt end.
By contrast, equity market returns have not preserved capital for investors over the long term, even when adding back the generous dividends paid to investors. By looking at the internal profitability of stock exchange-listed companies, ‘Navigating the Capital Market’ identifies which stocks are the ones most likely to generate satisfactory returns for their owners, and back-tests the results.
“Nigerian investors are faced with difficult choices,” says Guy Czartoryski, Head of Research at Coronation Asset Management, “as interest rates have crashed. The alternatives are either to simply wait for rates to rise again in future, or to accept more risk in order to increase returns. But, to do that, they need to increase their understanding of risk.”
‘Navigating the Capital Market’ takes a new approach to setting investment return benchmarks. Instead of targeting inflation, which is the conventional benchmark, it recommends that investors should aim to beat the effects of Naira devaluation against the US dollar, and obtain the risk-free return they would have in US dollars. This suggests that they should ask for Naira risk-free fixed-income (or Treasury bill) return of 14.7% per annum over the long term. And, when it comes to equities, Coronation Research calculates that Nigerian investors should demand a return of 20.5% per annum. These are high benchmarks, but they show what is necessary to preserve the value of investors’ hard-earned money.
Coronation Research’s investor feedback shows that Nigerian investors have two concerns. The first is inflation. The second is not to lose money in investment schemes. And with fixed-income and bank deposit rates at record lows, and far below the rate of inflation at 12.4%, investors are being tempted to take risks again. Yet the priority now is for them to understand what those risks are, and how they can be managed. ‘Navigating the Capital Market’ is their guide to these challenging times.
Coronation Asset Management Limited, incorporated on 2 October 2015, is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide fund and portfolio management services to institutions and individuals. Coronation Asset Management offers full-fledged investment services across various asset classes to the entire spectrum of investors: major institutions, smaller niche institutions & corporates, public sector family offices, cooperatives and high net-worth individuals.
Our Services include fund solutions (money market fund, fixed income fund and balanced fund), portfolio management (discretionary and non-discretionary), advisory services as well as fund administration and trustee services offered through its subsidiary, Coronation Trustees Limited.
Coronation was recently awarded the Fastest Growing Fund Management Company in Nigeria at the 2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards.
You may download the report by clicking here.
Glo customers to enjoy 6 months’ bundled data in Smartphone Festival
Customers who purchase devices under the programme will have access to bundled data.
In its bid to offer more value to customers and consolidate its leadership in Nigeria’s telecommunications market, digital transformation leader, Globacom, has announced a phone festival for the benefit of its teeming subscribers. Called the Glo Smartphone Festival, it is designed to offer subscribers who purchase mobile phones from any Gloworld outlet up to six months’ bundled data along with their preferred devices.
Globacom said in a statement released in Lagos over the weekend that customers who purchase devices under the programme will have access to bundled data from 500 MB per month to 2GB per month for six months. This will, however, depend on which model they choose from a wide range of phones from popular brands available for the offer, including iPhone, Samsung, Infinix, Itel, Tecno and Imose.
The company explained that the Glo Smartphone Festival was designed to make the Gloworld outlets nationwide a “one-stop shop for everything devices” and the best place to get the best price deals, accessories, bundle data ranging from 500MB to 2GB monthly for 6 months and free accessories on their choice devices.
The company further said that all prepaid and post-paid customers who visit any of the over 90 Gloworld outlets across the country during the festival period can buy any device of their choice from a range of latest devices and enjoy the bundled benefits. “Glo remains committed to creating more value for its customers,” the network added.