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Nigerian oil mogul, Abdulrahman Bashir jailed in UK

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Abdulrahman Bashir, the Chief Executive Officer of Rahamaniyya Oil and Gas Limited has been jailed in the United Kingdom.

Justice Butcher of England and Wales High Court sentenced the Nigerian oil mogul after he was found guilty of breaching multiple orders of the court in a pending suit instituted by Sahara Energy Resources Ltd.

Bashir who was handed a 10 months jail sentence, had been ordered to comply with requests for the release of 6,400.69 metric tonnes gas oil to Sahara Energy Resource Ltd or its agent from Rahamaniyya Oil and Gas Ltd, Jetty 6.436181, Ibafon, Kirikiri Waterfront, of Aero Maritime Street, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria (“the Terminal”).

This was in line with the deal Ultimate Oil and Gas, the trading arm of Rahamaniyya Oil in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), entered into a deal with Sahara Energy in 2018. In the signed contract, Ultimate agreed to buy, and Sahara agreed to sell 15,000 metric tonnes in the Vacuum of Gas Oil.

A Collateral Management Agreement (CMA) containing a London arbitration clause was entered into on July 8, 2018, between the two parties and it was further learnt that Rahamaniyya agreed to store the gas oil at its terminal pending payment by Ultimate.

Sahara delivered a total of 14,967.159 metric tonnes of gas oil to Rahamaniyya’s terminal in Nigeria and also issued invoices for the gas oil on October 26, 2018, for USD 10,760,728.77. The payment should have been made by August 29, 2019, but Ultimate defaulted in making necessary payments.

In December 2018, Ultimate and Sahara entered into a settlement agreement in which Ultimate confirmed that the value of gas oil that had been delivered was USD 10,760,728.77, and agreed to make a series of monthly payments for it.

Court records showed that some payments were made, in consequence of which some 8,566.469 metric tonnes of gas oil was released to Ultimate. Ultimate, however, reneged in performing the terms of the settlement agreement in full by making all the payments due. After various warnings, on May 10, 2019, Sahara terminated the settlement agreement, notifying Ultimate that its agent, Asharami Synergy Plc would take delivery of part of the remaining gas oil from the terminal.

Various attempts made by Sahara to obtain delivery of the gas oil were futile, leading to the lawsuit which was filed both in Lagos and in the United Kingdom.

Justice Butcher who delivered the third-order following a contempt of court judgement;

“The basis of the sentence was that Mr Bashir had committed continuing breaches of the order of Mr Justice Robin Knowles of 1 August 2019 and of the order of Mr Justice Bryan of 6 September 2019.”

There was also a binding indication that the sentence could be reduced to six months if Mr. Bashir complies with the relevant order which had previously been breached. He was also fined £500,000 while Adebowale Aderemi, its manager, was fined £10,000.

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NIGERIA

Ijaw nation vows to resist national water resources bill

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Following its earlier condemnation by different groups and individuals, the Ijaw Nations Development Group (INDG) has condemned the reintroduction of the National Water Resources Bill in the National Assembly, vowing to resist it vehemently.

The INDG described the bill as not only provocative but also a complete distortion of Nigeria’s federalism, insisting that reintroduction of the bill was the height of insensitivity to the plight of ordinary Nigerians.

Ijaw stakeholders, who stated this yesterday during a virtual meeting attended by over 100 participants, lamented that the Federal Government sent the bill to the National Assembly without engaging the states and peoples that are the direct stakeholders but only acknowledged them as footnotes.

The Keynote Speaker at the meeting, Anthony George-Ikoli (SAN), described the bill as a deleterious agenda.

“Taking a critical look at the National Water Resources Bill 2020, currently in the legislature and our national consciousness, I am compelled to align myself with more speakers, who in recent times, have come to the conclusion that such a bill can only be the product of an undisclosed, deleterious agenda,” he said.

He explained that true federalism usually serves to recognize the rights of the constituent units to ownership and protection of the same, noting that by its vesting sections, the bill represented an egregious distortion of federalism.

“The Federal Government has not only deprived the states of the minerals and mineral oil in the land within their territories, but it is also now plotting to take the only resource left for the states to administer for the benefit of their people through the National Water Resources Bill,” he added.

He said the time was past when the Ijaw nation would sit aloof and watch, but it was time to set an agenda for its legislators at all levels.

Another speaker and Niger Delta activist, Ann Kio-Briggs, said it was disheartening that the Federal Government was tampering with the rights of Ijaw people and the Niger Delta region.

“Water represents life and belongs to my people, we live on and by the water. For the first time, the Ijaw have to wake up because they have taken our land, oil, and air through pollution and now, they want to take our water. It is our responsibility to protect our rights,” she stated.

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NIGERIA

Finally, APC concedes defeat, admits Edo poll free, fair

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The governing All Progressives Congress on Monday conceded defeat 24 hours after Governor Godwin Obaseki, of the Peoples Democratic Party, was declared the winner of the Edo Governorship Election.

Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, in a statement titled, “Edo State Governorship Election: Victory for Democracy,” which he signed, congratulated Obaseki over his victory.

Buni said,  “Edo State Governorship election is over, the winner has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the person of the Mr. Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the People Democratic Party.

“We hereby congratulate the winner of the election, the people of Edo State and all Nigerians. The peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represent a victory for Nigeria’s democracy

“As a party, we join our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to affirm our ‘commitment to free and fair elections’ in order to strengthen ‘the foundation for our political and moral authority.

“ We commend INEC, our security agencies, and all political parties that contested the election for the successful conduct of the election. As a governing party, we will take every step necessary to support the Federal Government to consolidate all the gains achieved. “

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NIGERIA

Government has no business running refineries — Osinbajo

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The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said the problems associated with Nigeria’s refineries will persist if the Federal Government continues to own and run them.

He noted that experience has shown that refineries were better managed by the private sector hence the need for the government to restrict itself to providing the regulatory framework for such businesses to thrive.

Osinbajo said this at a virtual meeting organized for the All Progressives Congress bloggers and social media influencers at the APC National Secretariat, in Abuja, Monday.

According to him, it was time for the nation to do more to develop its gas and renewable energy resources which are cheaper and cleaner.

He said, “If the refinery is left in the hands of the government, it will continue to experience the same problem it is experiencing now. I do not think that it is the business of the government to run the refinery. It should be the business of the private sector, which is why we are trying to focus on assisting the private sector to develop modular refineries.”

Speaking further Osinbajo said, “There is a 100,000-barrel capacity refinery about to come on stream and we hope it will by the next year. It is completely private and closely located near the Port Harcourt refinery so that it can share the facilities of the Port Harcourt refinery. We are hopeful it will come on stream in the first quarter of next year.

“There are also six modular refineries that are almost ready. There is a Niger Delta Petroleum refinery in Delta state, there is another one in Imo, there is also another modular refinery in Edo State.

“We engaged the oil-producing communities to find a new vision for the Niger Delta and we tried to encourage modular refinery that will give the people in the oil-producing states a stake so that the modular refinery is not just private but the people there have some stake and equity.

“The whole idea is to support as many private refineries as possible. We are also waiting for the Dangote Refinery with 250,000 barrels capacity which is bigger than all of the government refineries put together.

“In the next two or three months, we will see the private sector playing a bigger role and things will quickly improve. We hope that this particular effort will complete the refurbishment of the refineries which will be completed soon but I am more hopeful of the private effort been the key to the future.”

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