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EFCC re-arraigns ex-NIMASA DG over alleged N156.4 million money laundering

The EFCC has re-arraigned a former DG of NIMASA, Mr. Haruna Jauro, over alleged money laundering.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Mr. Haruna Jauro, over alleged money laundering valued at N156 million at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

This was disclosed by the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday evening. Mr. Jauro was arraigned in court alongside Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd and Dauda Bawa on 19 counts of money laundering.

READ: EFCC invites Babatunde Fowler over alleged fraud

With the retirement of Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, who was in charge of the case in 2016, the EFCC leveled new charges against the defendants before Justice Obiozor.

The EFCC claims that Jauro and the Defendants diverted the sum of N156.4million belonging to the agency for personal use in January 2014, citing provisions of sections 15(3) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012.

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READ: UPDATED: Court rules ICAN members do not need CITN license to file tax returns

The Defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges labeled against them by the EFCC.

EFCC’s counsel Mr. U.U Buhari, petitioned the court for a trial date and urged that the defendants remain in correctional service.

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READ: Shebah, Orjiakor ordered to pay three banks $144.2 million

Mr Olalekan Ojo, Counsel to the defendants petitioned that his clients continue the earlier bail agreements granted by retired Justice Olatoregun.

Justice Obiozor, adjourned the cases to March 17, 2021 for trial and also granted the defendants bail.

READ: $9 billion case: Nigeria files new lawsuit against P&ID after new evidence emerges 

What you should know 

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In 2016, the defendants were accused of defrauding NIMASA N304.1 million and were arraigned before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun at the Federal High Court in  Ikoyi. In 2019, Jauro ended his defense of the money laundering trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

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More Nigerians should be involved in cargo freight – NIMASA

NIMASA DG has advised for more Nigerians to be involved in cargo freight to promote indigenous participation in the maritime space.

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Nigeria to ban foreign vessels operating without valid license by December - NIMASA

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has emphasized the need for full implementation of the relevant local content strategy by ensuring that Nigerian cargoes are freighted by the nationals to promote indigenous participation in maritime space, diversification and increase in international shipping trade.

This disclosure was made by Dr. Bashir Jamoh, NIMASA Director-General, on Thursday in Abuja at the NIMASA special day at the 15th Abuja International Trade Fair which had its theme as, “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.

Dr. Jimoh was ably represented by Mr Momoh Alhassan, Head, Shipping Promotions Unit, who spoke on “Investment Opportunities for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Nigerian Blue Economy”.

According to Mr. Alhassan, “Nigeria has cargoes and these cargoes should be carried by Nigerians to promote indigenous participation in the maritime space”

“It will further promote diversification and increase in international shipping trade, such as exportation of available produce which when we utilise the capability in the country, will reduce importation of goods and services, conserve foreign exchange and curtail capital flight which will contribute to GDP growth and economic stability.”

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(READ MORE: Union Systems wins Trade Finance Software Solution Provider of the Year Award)

The DG went further to explain that the National Shipping Policy, established under decree 10, 1987 stipulated that Nigerians should have a right of freight, which must be up to 50 per cent of all dry cargo originating from international commercial ventures of local, state and the Federal Governments.

What you should know

  • Section 37, sub-section six, of National Shipping Policy stipulates that NIMASA would determine an efficient strategy for the participation of national carriers in the carriage of crude and petroleum products to and fro Nigeria.
  • If the maritime sector is appropriately harnessed, income would accrue to small businesses in local and foreign currency, thereby collectively boosting Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Some of the opportunities for Nigerians in the marine sector include vessel building, maintenance, manning, support services like insurance, legal, and catering among others.

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Seplat Petroleum set to sue Access Bank over sealing of its headquarters

Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc is set to seek legal action against Access Bank over the sealing of its corporate headquarters.

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There is a brewing legal battle between the management of Seplat Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Access Bank of Nigeria Plc, over the indebtedness of a third party.

This has led to the sealing off of the SPDC’s corporate headquarters at 16A Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

However, the management of SPDC has maintained that it is not a shareholder in Cardinal Drilling, neither has it any outstanding loan obligations to Access Bank. SPDC further stated that it did not at any time make any commitment or guarantee in respect of Cardinal Drilling’s loan obligations to Access Bank.

In response to the action taken by Access Bank, the management of SPDC has stated that the court order lacked any merit or justification. SPDC also plans to take legal actions in order to counter the order.

What they are saying

A part of the press statement issued by SPDC, signed by its company’s Secretary and General Counsel, Mrs Edith Onwuchekwa, and seen by Nairametrics reads thus:

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“We understand that Cardinal Drilling has outstanding loan obligations to Access Bank. However, SEPLAT is neither a shareholder in Cardinal Drilling, nor has outstanding loan obligations or guarantees to Access Bank and did not at any time make any commitments or guarantees in respect of Cardinal Drilling’s loan obligations to Access Bank. SEPLAT strongly believes that there is no merit or justification for this action against it and has taken prompt legal action to vacate the court order pursuant to which the building was sealed.

“This action was taken by Access Bank without any prior notice to SEPLAT, as required under Nigerian law. SEPLAT will vigorously defend against this improper action to the full extent of the law and will seek all appropriate legal remedies.”

What you should know

According to findings by Nairametrics, the third party – Cardinal Drilling Service Limited, which provides drilling services to SPDC, has outstanding loan obligations to Access Bank, prompting the legal action.

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Germany agrees to deepen sustainable economic development with Nigeria

The Federal Goverment of Nigeria and Germany have agree to deepen sustainable economic development.

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Germany agrees to deepen sustainable economic development with Nigeria

The Nigerian and German governments have agreed to deepen ties on sustainable economic development, climate change, and agriculture.

This was disclosed at the just concluded Nigeria-German Bilateral government consultations and sectoral dialogue held in Abuja, reported in a statement by the Ministry of Information.

READ: Nigeria owes foreign airlines $53 million as proceeds from ticket sales – IATA

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, commended the German government for its commitment and undying interest in the affairs of Nigeria since independence.

He stated that the cooperation between both nations was based on mutual trust, respect, and understanding. He added that since the last consultative meeting between both sides was held in 2017, progress had been made on programmes and projects as contained in the resolutions.

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The meeting was also to discuss the new German Reform Strategy, which is a plan to improve Germany’s development policy with its partner countries. 

READ: German bank to support 10,000 Nigerian SMEs with $33 million credit facility 

(READ MORE: Analysis: Nigeria needs an austerity diet)

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The Minister disclosed that the reforms would focus on areas of cooperation between Nigeria and Germany, including, climate, health, and family policy, sustainable supply chains, harnessing digital technology, technology transfer, and strengthening private investment, with a view to overcoming hunger and poverty. 

He pointed out that the reform strategies were in line with the economic sustainability and inclusive growth espoused by the Government of Nigeria in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020).

Claudia Wolk, Country Manager Nigeria, representing the German Government, said the bilateral development co-operation, was to reform processes and reposition German development co-operation, in order to improve the capacity to tackle new challenges and demands in international co-operation.

The areas outlined by both countries include;

  • Sustainable economic development: Germany said it would continue to support Nigeria through measures focused on promotion of needs-based technical and vocational education and employment possibilities for the youth with 7.5 million EUR (Bilateral Technical Cooperation Grant).

READ: E-Citizenship automation has generated N2 billion for FG – Interior Ministry

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(READ MORE: FG tasks experts, host institutions to join sub-technical committees on Police reform)

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  • Responsibility for our planet-climate energy: The German government explained that a feasibility study had been commissioned, recommending a financial contribution in the form of a subordinated loan of 25 million Euro (Bilateral Financial Cooperation) and accompanying measures of 0.5 million Financial Cooperation Grant from the German Government to start the MSME credit line with the focus on RE/EE (Green Credit Line).
  • Agricultural sector: The German government pledged to commit 4.3 million Euros (Regional Technical Cooperation Grant) to the Green Innovation Center for the Agriculture and Food Sector to increase employment, income generation, and productivity improvement along various agricultural chains.
  • COVID-19 responses: The German government intends to further commit 5 million Euros (Bilateral Financial Grant) to the ongoing eradication programme. That would allow support for the implementation of the National COVID-19 Response Plan.

READ: N117 billion approved by FG for road rehabilitation

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported in October that the Federal Government of Nigeria had opened the portal for the registration of the 2021/2022 Bilateral Educational Agreement (BEA) scholarship for deserving Nigerians.
  • The BEA scholarship is awarded to both undergraduate and postgraduate students and tenable in some selected countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
  • Nigeria also agreed to deepen bilateral relationships with other nations as Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, disclosed last month that the Federal Government of Nigeria would sign more Bilateral and Multilateral Air Services Agreements in the year 2021, for the benefit of air travellers and the nation at large.
  • The Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this month, which provides a platform for the nations to engage each other bilaterally.

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