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BUA Group to Dangote: “No one is Above the Law no Matter How Highly Placed… Respect the judicial process

It is our contention that no one should be above the law.

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BUA Group has described the publication of Dangote Group wherein it stated that BUA misinterpreted the fact about a pending court case as untrue and laden with fraught misrepresentations.

A statement by BUA Group explained that Dangote, in its hurry to twist facts, failed to justify the alleged misinterpretation in its publication but stylishly stated that it has appealed the judgement whilst accepting the recent court order, which granted BUA the right to peaceful possession and operations of three of its mining sites in Obu, Okpella in Edo State.

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“In the said publication by Dangote Group, it was alleged that the initial publication of the BUA Group was riddled with misrepresentations and deliberate distortions of facts. We however note that the Dangote Group failed to identify any specific fact, which was distorted. On the contrary, the Dangote Group reiterated the fact that the judgment of the Court indeed restrained DIL and the other

Respondents, as contended by BUA, albeit stating that the judgment of the Court constitutes complete aberrations and contains manifests contradictions; and it has exercised its legal right to appeal the decision of the Court. Whilst we consider this attempt to disparage the Court on the pages of print media as an affront, we shall not be joining issues with the Dangote Group, as we are of the view that the Court can protect itself and DIL reserves the right to appeal the decision of the Court.

JnThe Dangote Group also questioned the right of BUA to institute the BUA Fundamental Right Suit on the basis that it was a clear abuse of court process as there are two other pending suits – the BUA Suit and Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016: Dangote Industries Limited & Anor. v. BUA International Limited & Ors (“Dangote Suit”).

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This is notwithstanding that the Dangote Group itself ironically commenced the Dangote Suit during the pendency of the BUA Suit. Moreover, it is trite law that any fundamental right suit is an independent claim, which does not impede a pending dispute. In this instance, the suit was deemed necessary in view of Dangote Groups use of the Nigeria Police Force to disrupt the possessory right of BUA Group and to safeguard the lives of BUA Group’s employees.

Indeed, Court confirmed this in the BUA Fundamental Rights Suit where it was stated: “that the 1st and 2nd Respondents (Police) allowed themselves to be used by the 3rd and 4th Respondents (DIL and Dangote Cement)”

It is imperative to note that the Dangote Group’s use of the Nigeria Police Force to disrupt BUA’s operations was done brazenly after DIL had applied to Court for a restraining order against BUA in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016, which was granted ex parte, but set aside by the Court upon a robust challenge by BUA.

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READ ALSO: 10 fantastic things Aliko Dangote has done in the last 10 years

Interestingly, the Dangote Group did not deny resorting to self-help in its publication. It is our contention that no one should be above the law, no matter how highly placed, powerful or influential as the rule of law is the pillar and foundation of any democracy.

BUA further corrected Dangote on it claim that BUA was granted its mining lease from the Governor of Edo State restating that the authority to grant a mining license is within the sole jurisdiction of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development through the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, which granted the BUA licenses.

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BUA also dismissed Dangote’s claim to BUA’s mining sites in Edo as absurd and frivolous as Dangote’s mining license was granted under Kogi State while BUA licenses and mining sites respectively cover and are located in Obu, Okpella in Edo State.

With respect to the Dangote Group’s interpretation of the consequence of its Appeal of the decision of the Court, it is trite law that an Appeal does not amount to a stay of execution, and the Dangote Group is only being mischievous by suggesting that BUA is refrained from taking benefit of the judgment, which was in BUA’s favor.

As held by the Supreme Court in the case of Tai Ajomale v. Yuduat and Anor (1991) All N.L.R. 197:
“The successful litigant is prima facie entitled to the fruits of the judgment in his favour, it is expressly provided in Section 24 of the Supreme Court Act, 1960, that an appeal does not operate as a stay of execution.”

READ ALSO: 5 things Abdulsamad Rabiu did between 2018 and 2020 to ‘cement’ his position on Forbes list

“The Courts have also reiterated the position of law in the case of Enabulele v. Agbonlahor (1994) 5 NWLR (PT. 342) 112 at P125, where it was held that:
“It is trite law that under Section 18 of the Court of Appeal Act, 1976, the filing of a Notice of Appeal does not operate as a stay of execution since the Court will not normally deprive a successful party of the fruits of his successful litigation”

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BUA Group will not join issues with Dangote as the intention of its publication was to inform its shareholders and other stakeholders of the judgment of the Federal High Court which granted BUA’s and not commence a media trial.

According to the statement titled: RE: BUA OBU MINES, OKPELLA EDO STATE, it read: “We read with dismay the publication by the Dangote Group which purports to “set the records straight” with regards to the earlier publication of the BUA group on the recent judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/101/2017: BUA v. IGP & Ors. (“BUA Fundamental Right Suit”), which restrains Dangote Industries Limited (“DIL”) and other Respondents in the suit from interfering in BUA Group’s mining sites in Obu, Okpella, Edo State.

“In the said publication by Dangote Group, it was alleged that the initial publication of the BUA Group was riddled with misrepresentations and deliberate distortions of facts. We however note that the Dangote Group failed to identify any specific fact, which was distorted. On the contrary, the Dangote Group reiterated the fact that the judgment of the Court indeed restrained DIL and the other Respondents, as contended by BUA, albeit stating that the judgment of the Court constitutes complete aberrations and contains manifests contradictions; and it has exercised its legal right to appeal the decision of the Court.

Whilst we consider this attempt to disparage the Court on the pages of print media as an affront, we shall not be joining issues with the Dangote Group, as we are of the view that the Court can protect itself and DIL reserves the right to appeal the decision of the Court.

“Paradoxically, the Dangote Group’s publication was fraught with untrue statements, which it touted as the facts of the matter in an attempt to misinform the general public. Accordingly, we seek to clarify the fallacies as follows:
Title to Mining Sites
“The Dangote Group alleged that BUA claims to have been granted its mining licenses from the Governor of Edo State. In this regard, it is imperative to note that BUA has never contended that the Governor of Edo State granted its licenses, as the authority to grant a mining license is within the sole jurisdiction of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development through the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, which granted the BUA licenses.

Further, both the Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development and the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office are defendants in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/7/2016: BUA International Limited & Anor. v. Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development (“BUA Suit”), wherein BUA asserts its legal and beneficial ownership of the mining sites.

READ MORE: Dangote Group emerges first African business firm to become PMI member 

“Further, the Dangote Group explicitly asserted that BUA does not have any right to the mining sites on the basis of the response of the Director-General of the Mining Cadastre Office to BUA’s application to renew its licenses. Needless to say, the Director-General’s ministry and parastatal are also Defendants in the BUA Suit pending in Court and the reaction is therefore not surprising.

“We wish to state clearly that the mining license granted to Dangote Group explicitly states that the location is in Kogi State, Nigeria, while the BUA licenses and mining sites respectively cover and are located in Obu, Okpella, Edo State, Nigeria.

The Dangote Group’s attempt to lay claim to mining sites not within a geographical area covered by its license is therefore ludicrous.

“The general public is therefore advised that Dangote Group’s claims are nothing but an attempt to unilaterally determine the outcome of the very matter the Court has been approached to determine in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/7/2016 – BUA Suit, which is still pending”.

READ MORE: 1,759 illegal mining sites operate in Nigeria – Minister of Mines and Steel 

Legal Precedence
The Dangote Group also questioned the right of BUA to institute the BUA Fundamental Right Suit on the basis that it was a clear abuse of court process as there are two other pending suits – the BUA Suit and Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016: Dangote Industries Limited & Anor. v. BUA International Limited & Ors (“Dangote Suit”). This is notwithstanding that the Dangote Group itself ironically commenced the Dangote Suit during the pendency of the BUA Suit. Moreover, it is trite law that any fundamental right suit is an independent claim, which does not impede a pending dispute.

In this instance, the suit was deemed necessary in view of Dangote Groups use of the Nigeria Police Force to disrupt the possessory right of BUA Group and to safeguard the lives of BUA Group’s employees. Indeed, Court confirmed this in the BUA Fundamental Rights Suit where it was stated: “that the 1st and 2nd Respondents (Police) allowed themselves to be used by the 3rd and 4th Respondents (DIL and Dangote Cement)”
It is imperative to note that the Dangote Group’s use of the Nigeria Police Force to disrupt BUA’s operations was done brazenly after DIL had applied to Court for a restraining order against BUA in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/74/2016, which was granted ex parte, but set aside by the Court upon a robust challenge by BUA. Interestingly, the Dangote Group did not deny resorting to self-help in its publication.

It is our contention that no one should be above the law, no matter how highly placed, powerful or influential as the rule of law is the pillar and foundation of any democracy. “With respect to the Dangote Group’s interpretation of the consequence of its Appeal of the decision of the Court, it is trite law that an Appeal does not amount to a stay of execution, and the Dangote Group is only being mischievous by suggesting that BUA is refrained from taking benefit of the judgment, which was in its favor. As held by the Supreme Court in the case of Tai Ajomale v. Yuduat and Anor (1991) All N.L.R. 197:

“The successful litigant is prima facie entitled to the fruits of the judgment in his favour, it is expressly provided in Section 24 of the Supreme Court Act, 1960, that an appeal does not operate as a stay of execution.”

READ ALSO: Ajaokuta’s completion to kick off as Russia provides funds

“The Courts have also reiterated the position of law in the case of Enabulele v. Agbonlahor (1994) 5 NWLR (PT. 342) 112 at P125, where it was held that:
“It is trite law that under Section 18 of the Court of Appeal Act, 1976, the filing of a Notice of Appeal does not operate as a stay of execution since the Court will not normally deprive a successful party of the fruits of his successful litigation”

“We shall refrain from further joining issues on this particular matter as the intention of our initial publication was to inform our shareholders and other stakeholders of the judgment of the Federal High Court and not to commence a media trial with the Dangote Group”.

Patricia

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What Nigerian MSMEs must do to thrive in the new normal

With CICOD Suite, businesses can manage a whole database of customers.

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To survive the harsh economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerian businesses have been tasked to embrace digital resources and innovation that will help them thrive in the realities of the new normal.

A leading Lagos-based software innovation company, Crown Interactive led by UK-trained IT Expert, Wumi Oghoetuoma made this known why introducing its digital resources known as CICOD Suite.

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This opportunity comes at a time when the CBN recently introduced a N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have been affected by the pandemic.

According to Crown Interactive, “with the CICOD product, businesses will be more efficient, digital-friendly, and thus, resilient to some of the economic shocks we’re living through today. Currently, CICOD suite of tools is running a free 30day trial period so that for businesses at no cost at www.cicod.com

“The CICOD suite of tools comes with all that businesses need to manage digitally, allowing them to run the shop remotely and enable other people to sell on their behalf, but still leaving them in charge of a centralized hub. Decentralizing by introducing new sales channels – like selling via agents, social media, call-to-shop – makes it more convenient for customers to shop with businesses and effectively, more convenient for them to increase revenues.”

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Crown Interactive noted, “For some micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), reopening means business owners may first have to get rid of the old stock that they have been sitting on during lockdown to make way for the new. With CICOD, businesses can run promotions, apply discounts directly, and track and monitor leftover stock in the inventory, all from the comfort of your home.”

“With CICOD Suite, businesses can manage a whole database of customers and easily text them, send them invoices, and even monitor buying patterns so that they can more suitably fulfill the needs of their clientele. They can even take this further and run a loyalty scheme, to make sure they keep the regulars coming back.”

The organization added, “as the shops open up and customers begin to stroll back in, they need to see that there’s been an upgrade by allowing CICOD bring their businesses into the now. It is not enough for businesses to survive in this period, we want them to thrive in it too. We can equip them with the digital tools that they need to thrive in this period and move to the next level.”

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NOVA Merchant Bank opens N10 billion Bond Offer

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Nova Merchant Bank Limited has commenced book-building on its N10 billion issuance of seven-year Fixed Rate Subordinated Unsecured Bond issue. In line with the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Bond is being issued through NOVAMBL INVESTMENTS SPV PLC, a special purpose vehicle sponsored by the Bank for the purpose of the Bond issuance. Nova Merchant Bank is issuing the Bonds under a SEC-approved N50 billion Debt Issuance Programme. The issuance, which opened on Tuesday 30th June 2020, will close on Wednesday 8th July 2020 and is open to institutional investors as well as High Net-worth Individuals who meet the requirements of the SEC’s rule 321.

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Nova Merchant Bank Limited is a licensed merchant bank in Nigeria, which is owned by experienced local and foreign investors, is one of Nigeria’s premium financial institutions. It offers a portfolio of products and services across Corporate and Investment Banking, Securities Trading and Asset Management, to a clientele comprising top-tier corporates and high net worth individuals. The Bank is rated BBB by Agusto & Co. and A+ by Datapro.

Why it matters: The Bank intends to use the proceeds from the bond issuance to invest in long-term risk assets, as a critical part of its medium-term growth strategy. Proceeds of the Bond issue will also serve as Tier-II capital for the Bank, within the requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Bond transaction also represents Nova’s first entry into the Nigerian Debt Capital Markets, with potential for future issuances.

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READ MORE: NOVA Merchant Bank Limited rated investment grade by 2 leading rating agencies

Details of the transaction are as follows:

Issuer:                                     NOVAMBL Investments SPV Plc

Sponsor:                                NOVA Merchant Bank

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Issue Size:                              N10 billion

Pricing guidance:                12% – 12.5%

Tenor:                                     7 years

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Status:                                     Subordinated, Unsecured

Offer Closing Date:              July 6, 2020

Minimum Subscription:       N10 million

 

Nova has an ambitious vision to be Africa’s preferred financial solutions provider, by creating superior value in the markets they serve. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the bank recorded 0% NPL, Gross earnings of N5.8 Billion, Profit after Tax of N1.6 Billion (growing at a CAGR of 48%), and Total Assets of N63.8 Billion, with a Return on Equity of 8.4%.

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Appointments

UBA Group announces appointment of Deputy Managing Directors for Nigeria and Africa

The bank reports the creation of the new positions represents strategic recognition of the growth of its pan-African business.

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UBA’s Executive Director, Chukwuma Nweke

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), the leading pan-African financial services group, is pleased to announce the appointments of Ayoku Liadi and Oliver Alawuba as Deputy Managing Directors in charge of UBA’s Nigeria and Africa businesses, respectively.

The creation of the new positions, reporting to Group CEO, Kennedy Uzoka, represents further strategic recognition of the growth of UBA’s pan-African business, now representing in excess of 40% of Group revenue, and the critical importance of Nigeria, the Group’s largest market.  Combined with UBA’s unique International Business, operating from New York, London and Paris, UBA Africa and Nigeria, offer an unparalleled service offering to clients across Africa and globally.

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Commenting on the appointments, Group Chairman Tony O. Elumelu said:

“In 2005, we set out our pan-African vision.  Fifteen years later, we are present in 20 African countries, serving over 20 million clients, leveraging our service culture and technology platform, to provide an integrated and seamless customer offering across the continent.  In Africa, we lead in innovation and service, whilst our International Business, operating from New York, Paris and London, provides global and African clients access to treasury, trade finance and corporate banking products, uniquely tailored to the African opportunity.  These senior appointments represent our commitment to optimise our management structure to best serve our clients and drive our business success.”

READ MORE: Rave reviews trail UBA’s innovative mobile banking app 

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Oliver Alawuba has worked with the UBA Group for almost 20 years and was appointed in January 2020, CEO for the Group’s Africa operations.  Oliver’s knowledge of UBA’s business in Africa is unrivalled.  He previously held the role as CEO of UBA in Ghana and more recently, as Regional CEO for UBA in Anglophone Africa.

Ayo Liadi joined the UBA Group in 2014 and was appointed the Executive Director of Lagos and West bank in Nigeria, two years later.  Ayo is widely recognised for his innovation in driving business development.

Also announced today by the UBA Group Board, was the retirement from the Board with effect from August 01, 2020, of Dan Okeke who has been with the UBA Group for 22 years.  Dan served on the board as an Executive Director for three terms and a total of nine years.  According to the Group Chairman, ‘Dan was born for UBA.  He has worked tirelessly for the Group and achieved so much in the past two decades.  We will miss him, but he will still be very much around us’.

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UBA is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with approximately 20,000 employees group-wide and serving over 20 million customers.  Operating in 20 African countries and globally in the United Kingdom, the United States and France, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge products such as the first-ever banking chatbot in Africa, LEO.

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