The Federal Government has tracked down and grounded a luxury private jet which is owned by the country’s former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, over his alleged involvement in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scam. The luxury private jet was alleged to have been purchased with proceeds from that oil deal.
This seizure was confirmed to Finance Uncovered by the legal counsel to Nigeria, Babatunde Olabode Johnson, who was appointed by the Nigerian government in 2016 to recover assets from the OPL 245 deal.
Johnson said that the order was served on the jet’s owner, a company called Tibit Ltd, which has until Tuesday next week (June 9) to file court papers opposing the seizure. Tibit is an anonymously owned company incorporated in the British Virgin Island.
The asset recovery lawyers acting on behalf of the Nigerian government swooped last week, after the Bombardier 6000 jet, tail number M-MYNA, touched down at Montreal Trudeau International Airport in Canada on Friday May 29.
A Quebec judge is understood to have granted a seizure order for the aircraft in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Giuseppina Russa, who was named on the Montreal court order, is Tibit’s sole director according to records of the British Virgin Island firm.
READ ALSO: JP Morgan responds to FG’s Malabu court case
Dan Etete is alleged to have paid a total of $57 million for the jet in 2011, which was part of the spending spree that the former petroleum minister was alleged to have embarked on after allegedly receiving $336 million from the OPL 245 deal.
Etete, during his days as the petroleum minister, awarded the prospecting rights to the huge OPL 245 block to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company he secretly controlled. After the death of the then head of state, Sani Abacha, he retained the rights to the oil block as a private citizen until he offloaded them to oil giants, Shell and Eni in 2011, who both paid $1.3 billion to the Nigerian government.
The entire OPL 245 deal is now subject to a corruption trial in an Italian court, where Etete is an accused, together with alleged middlemen and some top executives from Shell and Eni. All parties in the Milan trial have denied the charges against them.
The Nigerian government has also charged Etete and several others linked to Malabu with money laundering in connection with the onward flow of funds from the OPL 245 deal. However, they have denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the allegations as political propaganda.
It was uncovered that Johnson had made a deal with an American litigation funder, Drumcliffe Partners, to help fund the recovery of OPL 245 assets. They are to receive 5% of any funds successfully recovered and returned to Nigeria.
Over 1.06 million passengers processed in Lagos airports in Q1 2021, drop by 70%
Processed air passengers dropped from 3.5 million to 1.06 million in Q1 2021.
The number of air passengers processed by the airport managers at the Murtala Mohammad Airport Ikeja dropped from 3.5 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, which was before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, to 1.06 million in Q1 2021. This is a drop of 2.5 million passengers, which represents a decrease of 70%.
This was disclosed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Thursday.
The airport manager revealed that between January and March 2021, a total number of 739,560 passengers was recorded for domestic flights and 323,751 for international flights.
Highlights of Q1 2021 figures
- A total of 149,557 passengers arrived, while 174,194 passengers departed through the international wing of the airport during the period, bringing the total passenger traffic to 323,751.
- At the domestic wing, 402,519 passengers arrived the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 1, also known as the GAT.
- Departure recorded 337,041, bringing the total number of passengers on the domestic routes to 739,560 between January and March.
- A total of number 17, 286 aircraft was recorded at the airport during the first quarter of the year with records showing 12,744 domestic aircraft movements, while international aircraft movement was 4,542.
What FAAN is saying
But Airport Manager, South West, Victoria Shin-Aba, stated that there was no significant drop as Lagos remained the business nerve centre of the country since most flights terminate at the airport.
She said, “It is like a gradual reawakening, a gradual restart away from the Covid issue; there came the second wave but that did not discourage people from travelling. So it is growing gradually.
If there is one thing the airport has been able to do, as soon as you get into the airport environment this Covid protocol is activated. You can get to town everywhere, you don’t see people obeying it, but as soon as you get to the airport, we enforce it. People would not want to cooperate, but we are enforcing it… for staff and passengers, people are cooperating.
The disadvantage of covid that is what affects us the most. It has affected our income as an organization, airlines are not coming back due to the pandemic, people are not travelling as they used to.”
What you should know
At the end of Q1 2019, Nairametrics reported that the monthly breakdown showed that 1.42 million passengers comprising 789,883 arrivals and 633,069 departures in 18,653 aircraft movements were recorded in the month of January.
However, the traffic dropped in February, as 976,112 passengers comprising 462,447 arrivals and 513,665 departures were recorded. Note that the drop in air passengers traffic in February may be due to the 2019 general elections. In March 2019, the statistics rose as a total number of 1.11 million passengers, comprising 556,297 arrivals and 554,220 departures, was recorded.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 17th of April 2021, 60 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 164,207 confirmed cases.
On the 17th of April 2021, 60 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 164,207 cases have been confirmed, 154,325 cases have been discharged and 2061 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A total of 1.84 million tests have been carried out as of April 17th, 2021 compared to 1.81 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 17th April 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 164,207
- Total Number Discharged – 154,325
- Total Deaths – 2,061
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,838,174
According to the NCDC, the 60 new cases are reported from 9 states- Lagos (22), Rivers (15), Bayelsa (7), Kaduna (5), Ogun (4), Akwa Ibom (3), Osun (2), Kano (1) and Ebonyi (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,110, followed by Abuja (19,756), Plateau (9,035), Kaduna (9,014), Rivers (7,060), Oyo (6,839), Edo (4,897), Ogun (4,639), Kano (3,942), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,617), Osun (2,572), Nasarawa (2,380), Enugu (2,281), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,020), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,843), and Abia (1,683).
Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,540), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,063), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (885), Ekiti (869), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (527), Kebbi (450), Cross River (394), Yobe (365), Zamfara (240), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.
On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.
On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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- UACN Property Development Company Plc appoints Ojo Odunayo as new CEO.
- Unilever Nigeria Plc reports a loss of N492 million in Q1 2021.
- Nigerian Breweries publishes names of over 100,000 shareholders who are yet to claim their dividends.
- 2020 FY Results: Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc records a 37% increase in profit after tax.
- CSCS Plc posts profit after tax of N6.93 billion in FY 2020