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Business News

Why Shell MD, two other top officials got prison sentence

Shell argues court order disobeying

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Osagie Okunbor

The Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Osagie Okunbor has been sentenced to three months’ imprisonment with hard labour alongside two other top officials of the company.

A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, sentenced Nike Onyilola, who is the SPDC Secretary and Head of Legal Department; and Keibi Atemie, who is the Deputy Country Head of Legal/Managing Counsel, Global Litigation, Sub-Sahara Africa for contempt.

In Suit Number PHC/1929/2018, the presiding judge, Justice George Omereji said the trio were convicted for refusing to obey a court order in 2008 instructing them to forfeit the land where Bonny Crude Oil terminal was located.

The court order, according to Justice Omereji, was given 10 years ago by Justice Margaret Opara of the Rivers State High Court.

The Jumbo Major House and Brown House, who are all landlords to Shell in the Bonny LGA had approached the court in Suit Number PHC/1956/2007 and complained about the tenancy and compensation for their land.

It was also learnt that Justice Opara, had in 2008, instructed that Shell should give up the Bonny terminal for violating the terms of tenancy and surreptitiously getting a Certificate of Occupancy from the then government of Rivers State for the said land.

Shell had after the ruling in 2008 gone to the Appeal Court, lost the case, and went to the Supreme Court, where it also lost.

Before sentencing the Shell officials, Justice Omereji struck out a motion of notice by counsel for Shell and the three top employees of the firm, praying the court to set aside the court order that directed the landlords to serve substituted means of a notice of consequences of disobedience of a court order.

Counsel for Bonny landlords, Lucius Nwosu (SAN) and Emmanuel Asido, and their counterpart for Shell officials, Thompson Okpoko (SAN), had earlier argued on the matter.

But Justice Omereji declared that the committal of Okunbor, Olafimihan and Atemie, was based on Shell’s failure to obey the order of Justice Opara to surrender the land to the owners.

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Shell’s reaction to the ruling

Spokesperson of the company, Bamidele Odugbesan clarified that Shell did not accept that it disobeyed any court order and had appealed the judgement.

“We do not accept that SPDC disobeyed any lawful order of the court and have accordingly appealed this judgement. The SPDC has utmost respect for the courts and the laws of Nigeria.” Odugbesan said.

According to Odugbesan, the landlord families settled with SPDC in 2014 and collected all rents due on the land up to 2019 as publicly declared by the landlord families in The Guardian edition of Sunday, August 24, 2014, on page 14.

The company’s Spokesperson added, “SPDC takes seriously the personal liberty of its officers and also the threat to continuing operations at the Bonny Oil Terminal, a critical national asset in which the Federal Government holds 55 per cent interest.

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“For this reason, SPDC has taken all lawful steps to protect its officials and ensure uninterrupted operations at the terminal in the interest of the nation.”

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Top 10 most innovative companies in tech in 2021

The top 10 most innovative companies extensively adopted AI as part of their innovation strategy.

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In every sector across the globe, every company was forced to adapt to the change that came with the pandemic with some companies downsizing and adopting the work from home policy. Some businesses failed while some adapted and have since offered more innovative solutions that have impacted the world.

The pandemic demonstrated the importance of innovation and this innovation was visible in the pharmaceutical industry as they joined their counterparts in the technology and software industry.

The top 10 most innovative companies extensively adopted AI as part of their innovation strategy, Alphabet proves this with innovations in Android and autonomous driving venture Waymo. Amazon has Alexa and AWS, Apple has Siri and a virtual workplace in its iOS platform, and Microsoft has evolved from solely offering software to offering AI and cloud services.

Here are the top 10 innovative companies according to BCG


Apple

Apple has become one of the most valuable brands in the world. This is largely due to its diversification strategy that has caused the company to expand into digital and subscription services beyond the iPhone. Apple also experienced large sales in its mobile devices and now they are rumoured to be producing a self-driving car.


Alphabet

Alphabet Inc. is the parent company of Google that gives ambitious projects the resources, freedom and focus to make their ideas happen. The company essentially separates Google’s profitable businesses, such as Google Search and YouTube from their riskier and more innovative projects. This can be seen in some of its projects like, Google Ventures and Google Capital that provides funding for bold, new companies, Fiber that focuses on providing super-fast internet for a more affordable price and many other amazing projects.


Amazon

Retail giants, Amazon ranks 3rd on this list. The company benefited greatly from the pandemic due to the surge in demand as more consumers turned online following the closure of stores globally. Amazon is also innovating through its AI-powered bot Alexa.


Microsoft

Microsoft has evolved from solely offering software to offering AI and cloud services. The company has focused largely on products by making them accessible to over one billion people around the world who may require additional assistance due to being physically challenged. One of these is the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which is designed for gamers with limited mobility. The company has also championed other innovative products like the Microsoft mesh that is changing the concept of remote work.


Tesla

Tesla is a leading force in the automotive industry through its electric vehicles. The company engages in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of fully electric vehicles, energy generation and storage systems. Tesla deploys artificial intelligence (AI) in its innovation strategy. Their electric cars have consistently defied consumer expectations for reliability, performance, and style.


Samsung

Samsung is a multi-faceted and innovative company that is leading the field in screen technology, batteries, chip design, and mobile devices. The company has shown strong capabilities in growing existing solutions and taking them to market through the high sale of its consumer devices.

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IBM

IBM has moved from its old business model of making and selling computer hardware to offering cloud computing services and data analytics. The company specializes in cloud-based artificial intelligence technologies that are available to developers and organizations seeking to incorporate those tools, which include natural language processing and cognitive computing, into their products. Since the creation of IBM Watson became commercially available, the technology has been applied to everything from cancer research, where Watson is used to sort through and decipher millions of medical journals, to retail, where Watson is being used to help shoppers locate exactly what they’re shopping for or similar items.


Huawei

Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications equipment. In a bid to be innovative, the company has created innovation in 5G applications and has also established 5G joint innovation centres together with carriers worldwide. Huawei also experienced massive sales of its phones. In the global fight against COVID-19, Huawei launched the Anti-COVID-19 Partner Program that focuses on AI, remote office, smart healthcare and online education, to support the fight against the pandemic.


Sony

Japan’s tech giant, Sony is a leader in camera technology and has shown great success in its camera and gaming products by successfully taking on Canon and Nikon with cameras aimed at professionals and serious amateurs.

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Pfizer

Big pharma company, Pfizer became the first company to market an effective COVID-19 vaccine and also deliver a COVID-19 vaccine in record time, getting FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and distributing millions of doses less than a year after the genetic sequence of COVID-19 was first obtained.

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FCT Fuel scarcity: Why the queues have returned

There have been reports of long queues in the FCT, leading to major traffic jams in some parts of the city.

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On Monday, 19th of April, 2021, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari assured Nigerians that there would be no increase in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as Petrol in May. Kyari also added that Petroleum Tanker Drivers had suspended their proposed strike after the intervention of NNPC in the impasse between the PTD and the National Association of Road Transport Owners.

“We have given our commitment to both NARTO and PTD that we will resolve the underlining issue between them and come back to the table within a week so that we’ll have a total closure of the dispute,” he said.

However, in the Federal Capital Territory, it was a different story, because the intervention of the NNPC on the proposed strike may have come a little late. Starting on Monday evening, there were reports of long queues in the city, which continued even up to Tuesday afternoon, leading to major traffic in some parts of the city.

At around 2 pm on Tuesday, a trip to fuel stations in the Karu-Jikwoyi area and some other parts of the FCT revealed queues of varying lengths. Fuel stations in the city centres had noticeably long queues as consumers struggled to fill up vehicle tanks and kegs.

A driver, Agbor, spoke to Nairametrics on his ordeal in trying to get petrol.

“I heard the queue was not as bad here as it was in town, so I rushed down to this queue at O-Max but the attendants said they don’t have much fuel for now, and are rationing how much they sell. I had no choice but to buy 10 litres of black market fuel at N4,000.”

At some stations including NNPC filling stations, long queues extended into nearby streets and although vehicular movements were being controlled to provide some semblance of order, the gates were shut in many to prevent mayhem.

The severity of the situation was also quite pronounced at Asokoro. There were long queues at the MRS filling station at AYA junction and A. A Rano station among others. The entry and exit gates were completely shut in many instances with teeming consumers struggling to gain entry. A petrol attendant who asked not to be named told Nairametrics that the situation is temporary and blamed the proposed strike for the inconvenience.

The scarcity situation was not different in Area 11, Garki. The main Total filling station was blocked on all sides and petrol was not being sold from the pumps at press time. The queues had also extended from the station to NNPC HQ. At Conoil, the situation was not much different and as of 2 pm yesterday, fuel was not being sold at the station.

In response to the situation, the federal government, on Tuesday afternoon, gave an update on fixing the fuel scarcity situation as NNPC GMD, Mr Mele Kyari told reporters that fuel loading had commenced in all depots and tankers would soon arrive at various parts of the city to end the scarcity situation.

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“These queues will go away. It’s because there was an industrial action by petroleum tanker drivers against their employers, the National Association of Road Transport Owners, around their compensation package.

And those issues were not resolved up till yesterday, until we intervened to ensure that there’s an amicable settlement between the parties so that they will have peace and then normal loading operations will commence from the depots.

As I speak to you at this moment, loading has commenced in all depots in the country, dispatches of trucks are ongoing in all the depots in the country and they have called off the strike for a period of one week to enable us intervene and find a solution.” he said.

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