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Court to decide on Saraki Friday

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Justice Abdukadir Abdu-Kafarati of a Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday rescinded his decision to hold back his judgment in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, to challenge the validity of his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.
Nigerian Pilot yesterday gathered that the judge had decided to deliver the judgment on Friday.
Justice Abdu-Kafarati announced his withdrawal from the case in the open court on March 22, 2016, when judgment in the suit was to be delivered.
The development followed reports on Sahara Reporters and another online platform, Naij.com, accusing the judge of having been compromised by Saraki with N2billion bribe.
Justice Abdu-Kafarati, while withdrawing from the case, said his integrity had been maligned by the reports and the honourable thing for him to do was to disqualify himself from the case.
The judge, who quoted copiously the online reports, said he had been caught between two devils, as his decisions to either rule in favour or against Saraki would result into wrong interpretations by the reading public.
Saraki’s lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede had subsequently petitioned the chief judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, asking him (the chief judge) to persuade Justice Abdu-Kafarati to go ahead to deliver the prepared judgment.
It was, however, gathered yesterday that Justice Auta had acceded to Saraki’s request and directed the judge to proceed to deliver his judgement.
It was learnt that Justice Auta’s decision was hinged on the fact that none of the parties in the suit complained about the conduct of the judge.
Justice Auta was also said to have held the opinion that the judge could not disqualify himself from further handling the case based on mere allegations made in the media.
Nigerian Pilot furtherconfirmed yesterday that parties to the suit had been notified of the new date for judgment.
Justice Abdul-Kafarati had on March 1 heard and fixed March 22 for judgment in Saraki’s matter.

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Ecobank Alerts Customers on Sim Card Fraud

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Ecobank has once again, raised alarm on the dangers of SIM swap fraud, stressing that fraudsters could use it to impersonate them.

In a message to customers via email, the bank explained that SIM swap fraud occurs when scammers use your phone number to access your accounts.

According to the bank, “Scammers impersonate you and trick your mobile phone’s carrier into activating a SIM card, which gives them control over your phone number. It means scammers could potentially enter your username and password when logging onto your online banking platform and then receive the SMS verification code to access your account.

“Protect yourself against SIM swaps, don’t share personal information that fraudsters could use to impersonate you (such as your mother’s maiden name or birthplace) on social media. Never reveal your logins and passwords for your mobile phone, online bank, or credit card accounts to anyone. Please always report any suspicious activity”.

Ecobank also reminded the customers that the bank will not ask them to provide their personal or financial information, stressing that when they receive an email that includes a link to a website, they should ensure that the website is legitimate before visiting the site.

Ecobank further, urged customers not to respond to emails, SMS and unsolicited calls from people they don’t know asking for your personal or banking information.

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Bribery: UK court restricts Diezani’s movement, EFCC begins extradition

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A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Monday, appeared before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in the United Kingdom over an alleged £100,000 bribe.

The district judge, Michael Snow, granted Alison-Madueke a £70,000 bail.

Snow further imposed other terms on Alison-Madueke including an 11 pm to 6 am curfew, an electronic tag to be worn by her at all times and a £70,000 surety to be paid before she could leave the court building.

Although she did not formally enter a plea, her attorney, Mark Bowen, informed the court that she would plead not guilty, Reuters reported.

Her next court appearance will be on October 30 at Southwark Crown Court, which deals with serious criminal cases.

In August, the UK’s National Crime Agency said it suspected that Alison-Madueke had accepted bribes in return for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts.

In a statement published on its website, NCA said the ex-Nigeria minister “is alleged to have benefitted from at least £100,000 in cash, chauffeur-driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.

“Her charges also detail financial rewards, including furniture, renovation work and staff for the properties, payment of private school fees, and gifts from high-end designer shops such as Cartier jewellery and Louis Vuitton goods.”

In March 2023, the NCA also provided evidence to the US Department of Justice that enabled them to recover assets totalling $53.1m linked to Diezan’s alleged corruption.

Head of the NCA’s international corruption unit, Andy Kelly, said the “charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation. Bribery is a pervasive form of corruption, which enables serious criminality and can have devastating consequences for developing countries. We will continue to work with partners here and overseas to tackle the threat,” Kelly added.

Diezani was the minister of petroleum resources from 2010 to 2015 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Shortly before Jonathan handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, she left the country for the UK.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged that the former minister stole $2.5bn from the Nigerian government while she was a minister.

Efforts by the EFCC to arraign her have been unsuccessful as she has not returned to Nigeria since 2015. But the anti-graft agency said on Monday that it had commenced an extradition process to bring Diezani back to Nigeria to face trial.

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, said, “The EFCC welcomes, with keen interest, the arraignment of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, at the Westminister’s Court in London, United Kingdom, following alleged bribery allegations.

“Although the charges preferred against her at the London court, are diametrically different from the 13 counts, bordering on money laundering that the EFCC has raised against her, it is instructive to note that criminality is criminality, irrespective of jurisdictional differences. No crime can go unpunished. The money laundering charges for which Madueke is answerable to the EFCC, cover jurisdictions in Dubai, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Nigeria.

“To bring the former Minister to trial in Nigeria, an arrest warrant has been obtained and extradition proceedings have been initiated. The commission is on course on her trial. She will soon have her day in our courts.”

 

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Mike Adenuga-led Conoil rewards shareholders with N1.73 billion dividend

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  • Conoil Plc declares a substantial $2.2 million dividend for fiscal year 2022. 
  • Shareholders to receive N2.5 per share in recognition of Conoil’s outstanding financial performance. 
  • Mike Adenuga’s leadership drives Conoil’s profit before tax up by 60% in 2022.

Leading petroleum marketing firm Conoil Plc, headed by the third-richest man in Nigeria and multibillionaire businessman Mike Adenuga, has declared a sizeable dividend distribution to shareholders of N1.73 billion ($2.2 million).

The $2.2-million payment, which is the last dividend for Conoil’s fiscal year 2022, is equivalent to N2.5 ($0.00319) per share for all 693,952,117 of the company’s outstanding common shares.

At Conoil’s 53rd Annual General Meeting, which took place on September 22, 2023, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, shareholders accepted this choice.

According to the information reaching us, the final dividend, which recognizes Conoil’s outstanding financial performance in its 2022 fiscal year, will be deposited to shareholders’ accounts on September 29, 2023.

Conoil’s profit before tax increased dramatically under Adenuga’s direction, rising from N3.83 billion ($4.9 million) in 2021 to N6.13 billion ($7.84 million) in 2022 while confronting various obstacles and a challenging working environment. During the same period, earnings after tax rose by an equally astounding 60%, from N3.08 billion ($3.94 million) to N4.96 billion ($6.35 million).

The increasing profitability of the petroleum-marketing subsector boosted Conoil’s profits per share to N7.14 ($0.0091), a stunning 60.8 percent rise over the N4.44 ($0.00568) generated in 2021.

The company’s board of directors decided to approve a final dividend of $2.2 million, or N2.5 ($0.00319) per share, as a result of this exceptional achievement.

Conoil has strengthened its position as a major player in Nigeria’s petroleum marketing sector under the shrewd leadership of Adenuga. The business is well known for its proficiency in the marketing of a variety of lubricants sold under the “Quarto” brand, including diesel, kerosene, gasoline, aviation fuel, and other liquids.

Adenuga, a well-known telecom tycoon and one of Africa’s wealthiest billionaires, continues to have majority ownership in the oil marketing firm of 74.4 percent, or 516,298,603 shares, further solidifying his position as a key player in the continent’s oil sector.

Conoil’s dedication to providing value to its shareholders and its tenacity in overcoming obstacles in the Nigerian market are both shown by this dividend payment.

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