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Court orders permanent forfeiture of Diezani’s N14.5 billion assets

The Federal High Court in Lagos State has ordered the permanent forfeiture of $40 million (N14.5 billion) worth of jewellery and customised gold iPhone belonging to Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

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Court orders permanent forfeiture of Diezani's N14.5 billion assets

Justice Nicholas Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday ordered the permanent forfeiture of $40 million (N14.5 billion) worth of jewellery and customised gold iPhone belonging to Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Justice Oweibo ordered the permanent forfeiture of the former minister’s assets which include 2,149 pieces of jewellery, a customised gold iPhone, among other assets recovered from her Abuja home.

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The details: The judge announced the permanent forfeiture on the ground that Diezani’s lawyer’s, Awa Kalu (SAN), failed to show cause why the items should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In an affidavit before the court, Rufai Zaki, an investigator with the anti-graft commission, stated that the jewellery was beyond Diezani’s “known and provable lawful income”. Zaki added that findings by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) showed that Diezani started acquiring the jewellery in 2012 after she was appointed a minister.

The EFFC had earlier told the judge that the jewellery and iPhone were reasonably suspected to be acquired with looted funds in the country.

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The back-story: Earlier in July, Justice Oweibo gave an interim forfeiture order following an ex parte application filed by the EFCC. In granting the order, Justice Oweibo directed the applicant, EFCC, to publish the interim forfeiture order in any national newspaper within 14 days for the respondent or anyone interested in the items to show cause why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

Alison-Madueke was the only defendant in the application filed by the EFCC pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006.

The items are: Bangles (419); rings (315); earrings (304); necklaces (267); wristwatches(189); necklace and earrings (174); bracelet (78); brooch (77); pendants( 74); necklace(48); necklace, bracelet, earring and ring (44); necklace, earrings and rings (32); pendants and earrings (30) and necklace and bracelet (18).

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Others are: Earrings and rings (15); earrings, rings and bracelet (12); cufflinks (11); pendants, earrings and rings (6); single earrings (5); bracelets and earrings (5); necklace and single earrings (3); necklace and rings(3); travel clocks(3); brooch and cufflinks (3); pendants and rings (2); bracelets, earrings and ring (1); bangle and earring (1); necklace, ring and bracelet (1); bangle, ring and brooch(1); necklace, earring and two bracelets( 4); bangle and ring (1); brooch and earring (1) necklace and two pairs of earrings (3) and customized Gold iphone (1)

Patricia

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria only hit 56% of its target revenue in first five of months of 2020 

Nigeria’s earnings in the period were N1.48 trillion which is 56% off its main target.

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Zainab Ahmed, Pres. Buhari to review Finance Bill, tax reform yearly to finance budget 

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed revealed that Nigeria was only able to meet 56% of its target revenue from January to May as the global oil price crash affected government revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nigeria’s earningin the period were N1.48 trillion which is 56% off its main target, crude oil revenues accounted for half of Nigeria’s revenues, while non-oil revenues made up the rest in the first 5 months of the year. 

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On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new 2020 revised budget of N10.8 trillion with the crude oil benchmark reduced from $57 per barrels in the earlier budget to $25 in the new budget.

The Minister said the budget had to be revised because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s economy. She added that Nigeria’s crude oil production would be an average of 1.86 million barrels per day next year and rise to 2.09 million the following year. 

 “Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5 million barrels per day, current crude production is about 1.4 million barrels per day — in compliance with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production quota – and an additional 300,000 barrels per day of condensates, totaling about 1.7 million barrels per day,” she said. 

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Coronavirus

African Union begins COVID-19 vaccine trial group

CONCVACT plans to capture more than ten late-stage vaccine trials at the earliest.

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coronavirus, COVID-19: Infections rise to 42 as 2 new cases are confirmed, COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

The African Union Commission just recently facilitated a program called the new Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Consortium for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial (CONCVACT).

The program is part of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for stopping the deadly COVID-19 onslaught that has disrupted human activities. The goal is to prevent severe COVID-19 infections and deaths in African countries, reduce the economic damage caused by the pandemic, and help minimize the general disruption to everyday life.

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Quick fact about COVID-19: Although for some individuals, the COVID-19 virus causes only mild illness, it can make other individuals seriously ill. The disease can be very fatal, especially among older individuals, and those with compromised immunities (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems) appear to be more susceptible.

South Africa’s leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, said, “Success in developing and providing access to a safe vaccine requires an innovative and collaborative approach, with significant local manufacturing in Africa.

“We need to support the contribution of African scientists and healthcare professionals. We need to act with urgency.”

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CONCVACT plans to capture more than ten late-stage vaccine trials at the earliest, via collaborations with global vaccine developers, sponsors, and African businesses that enable clinical studies.

The African group also hopes to secure the safety and efficacy data of promising vaccine candidates for the African population in order to validate their launch after approval.

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Economy & Politics

2021 Budget: FG projects spending plan of N11.86 trillion and deficit of N5.16 trillion

This tops 2020 budgeted expenditure of N10.8 trillion.

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IMF, International monetary fund, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning

The Federal Government is projecting to spend N11.86 trillion for 2021. This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed at a virtual presentation of the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) held on Friday.

According to the finance minister, the government is planning to spend N11.86 trillion against revenue of N6.98 trillion meaning the government will have to grapple with a fiscal deficit of  N5.16 trillion.

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Zainab Ahmed;

“The 2021-2023 MTEF&FSP is the pre-budget statement that provides the framework for the development of the 2021 budget. It is being framed against the backdrop of challenging global macroeconomic environment as well as domestic factors.

“We aim to keep the deficit within the three percent ceiling over the medium term and are therefore working on identifying new revenue sources and or cost of reduction.”

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The minister noted that the 2021-2023 draft had been prepared against the backdrop of heightened global economic uncertainty.

Earlier today President Buhari signed the revised 2020 national budget of N10.8 trillion, which was passed by the National Assembly in June. The National Assembly passed a revised budget of N10.8 trillion on the 11th of June after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a revised budget of N10.523trillion in May. 2020 Budget is based on a revised oil benchmark of $25 per barrel as against $57 while crude production was reduced from 2.18 million to 1.94 million barrels per day  Budget deficit for 2020 is estimated at N5.365 trillion.

As of March 2020, the FG was running a 52% shortfall in the first quarter of the year with actual revenue collected of N950 trillion compared to budgeted revenue  N1.96 trillion.

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What this means: Nigeria is facing an unprecedented revenue crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the crash in oil prices. At N5.16 trillion, Nigeria’s projected budget deficit will be 43% of spending and about 3.6% of GDP if the budget is passed. A budget deficit means the government will have to borrow heavily next year to fund its expenditure programs.

The government received a $3.4 billion funding from the IMF in April and expects another $3.5 billion from the World Bank in August 2020. The government also revealed it has no plans to access the commercial market for foreign debts as it takes advantage of lower interest rates in the domestic market.

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Patricia
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