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British court says Nigeria’s lawsuit against JP Morgan over oil deal to go on trial

FG filed the legal action against JP Morgan Chase & Co for its failure to prevent the payment of about $875 million to alleged corrupt parties.

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A lawsuit filed by the Nigerian government against US bank JP Morgan Chase, claiming over $1.7 billion for its role in a disputed 2011 Malabu oil deal, will proceed to trial.

This disclosure was contained in the ruling of London’s high court on Thursday, November 12, 2020.

The suit filed in the English courts in 2017 relates to the purchase of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria by oil majors, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in 2011, which is the subject of ongoing litigation in Milan.

The Federal Government filed the legal action against JP Morgan Chase & Co for its failure to prevent the payment of about $875 million to corrupt parties.

The six-week trial in London is expected to commence on the first available date after November 1 2021, meaning that proceedings may not begin until 2022.

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What you should know

According to an earlier report by Nairametrics, the case involves a $1.3 billion payment made by Shell and Eni to secure the OPL 245 oilfield, into a Nigerian government escrow account managed by JP Morgan.

It was however alleged that about $1.1 billion of that amount ended up in the account of Malabu Oil and Gas and was allegedly used to pay political bribes.

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The prosecutors also alleged that former petroleum minister, Dan Etete, paid politicians, some middlemen and then half of it to himself.

As part of the proceedings, JP Morgan will also have to disclose within 21 days which individuals at the bank made the final decision to transfer the funds in question.

A spokesman for the Federal Government on this case said, “Nigeria is pleased that JP Morgan has agreed it will now confirm all the senior figures at the bank who were involved. This claim will move forward and Nigeria will hold JP Morgan accountable for its central role in the OPL 245 fraud.

In the claim, Nigeria alleges JP Morgan was negligent in its decision to transfer the funds in escrow to Malabu oil and gas, a company controlled by the Dan Etete, instead of government coffers.

The damages sought by the Federal Government include the $875 million allegedly paid to Dan Etete, in 3 different instalments, plus interest taking the total to $1.7 billion.

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The Milan trial began in 2018. In July 2020, Italian prosecutors asked a Milan court for Eni and Shell to be fined, and some of their present and former executives, including Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi, to be jailed.

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They further requested that Eni and Shell be fined 900,000 euros ($1.06 million) each and sought to confiscate a total of $1.092 billion from all the defendants in the case, (the equivalent of the bribes alleged to have been paid).

Final defence arguments from lawyers representing Shell, Eni and its executives are being made to the court. The next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 25.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Exited N-Power beneficiaries to apply for CBN empowerment options

A portal to enable Exited N-Power beneficiaries apply for CBN empowerment options has been launched by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

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The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development has launched a portal enabling exited N-Power beneficiaries to apply for CBN empowerment options.
This was disclosed by the Ministry in a social media statement on Friday evening.
According to the press release by the Ministry, “The platform which was developed in collaboration with the CBN will enable Exited N-Power Beneficiaries to log on and apply for the various economic, empowerment, and entrepreneurship options provided by the CBN.”
The statement which was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Bashir Nura Alkali, quoted the Honourable Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq urging interested Exited Beneficiaries of N- Power to log on to the portal and provide the required additional information for possible placements into the various CBN intervention options.
The Minister also emphasized that the NEXIT PORTAL will determine the suitability of the beneficiaries for the CBN affiliated programs.
“The NEXIT portal is to determine the suitability of the beneficiaries for the CBN affiliated programs and is dependent on meeting the criteria and conditions set by the CBN for the said programs,” she said.
Farouq pledged the Ministry’s willingness to collaborate with relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders towards the realization of that vision and congratulated the exited beneficiaries while wishing them well in their future endeavours.

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Nigeria’s University lecturers union, ASUU, calls off 8-month strike

ASUU called off its eight-month long strike that has grounded academic activities in the public universities.

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called off its eight-month-long strike that has grounded academic activities in the public universities. The union took the decision after it agreed to accept government’s total payment of N70 billion.

The was disclosed by ASUU via its Twitter handle on Friday after its meeting with the Federal Government’s team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.

It tweeted, “The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has shifted ground on FG’s offer. The Union insisted that payment of outstanding salaries must not be done as through the IPPIS platform as promised, if strike would be suspended.”

This is a developing story….

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Terrorism: Nigeria records 39.1% reduction in deaths – GTI Report

Nigeria has recorded a 39.1% reduction in terror-related deaths, according to the 2020 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report.

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The 2020 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report, published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), based in the United States, indicates that terrorism incidents in Nigeria fell by 27% in 2019.

This represents the lowest level of terrorism in Nigeria since 2011, with terrorism deaths in Nigeria reduced to 1,245 last year – a 39.1% dip from the 2,043 deaths recorded in 2018.

Despite the overall decline in terrorism in Nigeria last year, the country is still ranked as the third most impacted country in the world by terrorism, a position it has maintained for five consecutive years since 2015.

According to the latest annual GTI report, Afghanistan and Iraq are respectively the first and second most affected countries by terrorism.

Highlights of the report

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  • The decline in both terrorism incidents and deaths in Nigeria is attributed to a significant reduction in violence by armed Fulani herdsmen.
  • The armed herdsmen are being held accountable for majority of terror-related deaths in 2018, with the latest GTI report showing a 72% decline in fatalities attributed to the herdsmen last year.
  • Terror-related deaths and incidents attributed to Boko Haram in Nigeria increased by 25% and 30% respectively from the prior year.
  • Over the past year, Boko Haram increased attacks on military targets, with deaths rising from 26 in 2018 to 148 in 2019.
  • Globally, deaths from terrorism fell in 2019 to 13,826. This represents a 15% dip from the previous year and the fifth consecutive year of decline since peaking in 2014.
  • Conflict remains the primary driver of terrorism, with over 96% of deaths from terrorism in 2019 occurring in countries that are already in conflict.

What you should know

  • GTI report is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) based in the United States.
  • The GTI report, now in its eighth year, ranks 135 countries according to how they are impacted by terrorism. The indicators used by the GTI include the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage.
  • Boko Haram, the deadliest terrorist group in Nigeria ranks second in the world, behind the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • There are 63 countries in 2019 that recorded at least one death from a terrorist attack and 17 countries that recorded over 100 deaths from terrorism. However, only Afghanistan and Nigeria recorded over 1,000 deaths and both countries had significant reductions in the number of people killed in 2019.
  • Globally, the report estimates the economic impact of violence, including military, homicide, incarceration and terrorism to be $14.5 trillion in 2019. This is the equivalent of 10.6% of global GDP. The global economic impact of terrorism alone was estimated to be $26.4 billion last year.
  • There are emerging new threats of politically-induced terrorism in North America, Western Europe, and Oceania, though with minimal fatalities.

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