Diezani Forfeits $153m to FG
By Dipo Olowookere
Former Minister of Petroleum Resources in the immediate past administration, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has forfeited $153 million she was accused of stealing from the treasury of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during her time in office.
The alleged embezzled funds were stockpiled in Access Bank, First Bank and Sterling Bank. It was gathered that the sum of $5 million was kept with Access Bank, N9 billion with First Bank and N23 billion with Sterling Bank.
But on Friday, a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the temporary forfeiture of these monies.
In his ruling, Justice Muslim Hassan gave a 14-day ultimatum to Sterling Bank Plc and any other interested parties to prove the legitimacy of the monies before his court or else the funds would be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The order was given in favour of an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking the temporary forfeiture of the funds.
Counsel to EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had urged Justice Hassan to order the temporary forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government and to order Sterling Bank and others who are joined as defendants in the application, to appear in court within two weeks to explain why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the government.
Mr Oyedepo said the application was brought in under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and Section 44(2)(‘) of the 1999 Constitution, thus granting same is in the best interest of justice.
In a nine paragraph affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, an EFCC investigator, Mr Moses Awolusi, claimed that the anti-graft agency discovered through its investigations how sometime in December 2014 Mrs Alison-Madueke invited a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, to her office where they hatched the plan on how a cash sum of $153m would be moved from NNPC account.
According to Mr Awolusi, the former Petroleum Minister instructed Mr Okonkwo to ensure that the money was “neither credited into any known account nor captured in any transaction platforms” of Fidelity Bank. The EFCC investigator added that Mr Okonkwo accepted and implemented the instructions given by Mrs Alison-Madueke.
He went further to say that two former Group Executive Directors of Finance and Account of NNPC, B.O.N. connived with Mrs Alison-Madueke to move the cash from NNPC, Abuja to the headquarters of Fidelity Bank in Lagos.
Mr Awolusi said that in a desperate bid by Mr Okonkwo to conceal the source of the money, he (Okonkwo) upon receiving it, instructed the Country Head of Fidelity Bank, Mr Martin Izuogbe, to take $113,310,000 cash out of the money to the Executive Director, Commercial and Institutional Bank, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Lanre Adesanya for keeps.
He added that another $40 million was taken in cash to the Executive Director, Public Sector Accountant, First Bank, Mr Dauda Lawal, to keep, that money was then taken to Stanley Lawson, a former group executive director of Finance and accounts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to purchase the Le Meridien in Port Harcourt.
The investigator said out of the $113,310,000 handed over to Mr Adesanya, a sum of $108,310,000 was invested in an off-balance sheet investment using Sterling Asset Management Trustees Limited, adding that a sum $108,310,000 was subsequently changed to N23b and saved in Sterling Bank.
Mr Awolusi said that EFCC had recovered the N23.4 billion in draft and had registered it as an exhibit marked, EFCC 01. The investigator said the EFCC had also recovered another $5 million out of the money kept with the MD of Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe.
According to him, the $5 million was recovered in a draft and had been registered as an exhibit marked, EFCC 02. Also, he alleged that First Bank’s ED had converted the $40 million kept with him to N9 billion which has also been recovered by the anti-graft agency and registered it as Exhibit EFCC 03.
Justice Hassan adjourned till January 24, 2017, for the respondents to appear in court to state why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
FAAC Allocation to FG, States, LGs in March Shrinks to N722.7bn
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The amount shared to the three tiers of government, the federal government, state governments, and local governments, by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), decreased in March 2023 from the money distributed in February.
A communique issued on Wednesday after the FAAC meeting in Abuja disclosed that N722.7 billion was disbursed from the revenue generated by the country last month compared with the N750.2 billion shared in February.
A breakdown showed that the total distributable revenue of N722.677 billion comprised distributable statutory revenue of N366.800 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N224.232 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) of N11.645 billion and N120.000 billion Augmentation from Forex Equalisation Account.
In the disclosure signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations of the Office of the Account-General of the Federation (OAGF), Mr Bawa Mokwa, it was disclosed that in February, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Companies Income Tax (CIT), Oil and Gas Royalties, Import and Excise Duties all decreased significantly while Value Added Tax (VAT) and Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) decreased marginally.
Explaining how the money was disbursed, FAAC said from the N722.677 billion, the federal government received N269.063 billion, the state governments got N236.464 billion, and the local councils were given N173.936 billion, while N43.214 billion was shared to the oil-producing states as 13 per cent derivation revenue.
Further, from the N366.800 billion distributable statutory revenue, the federal government received N178.683 billion, the state governments received N90.630 billion, and the local government councils received N69.872 billion, with relevant states getting N27.614 billion as 13 per cent derivation revenue.
In addition, from the distributable N224.232 billion from VAT, the federal government received N33.635 billion, the state governments received N112.116 billion, and the local councils received N78.481 billion.
The statement also said N11.645 billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) was distributed as follows: the Federal Government received N1.747 billion, the State Governments received N5.822 billion, and the Local Government Councils received N4.076 billion.
From the N120.000 billion Augmentation, the Federal Government received N54.998 billion, the State Governments received N27.896 billion, the Local Government Councils received N21.506 billion, and a total sum of N15.600 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13 per cent of mineral revenue.
In February 2023, the total deductions for the cost of the collection were N27.449 billion, and total deductions for transfers, savings, recoveries and refunds were N109.909 billion, while the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $473,754.57, the same amount it had remained since December 2022.
Local Stock Exchange Extends Growth by 0.06% Amid Weak Sentiment
By Dipo Olowookere
Investor sentiment at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited was weak on Wednesday as traders chew over the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 0.50 per cent to 18.00 per cent.
However, the local stock exchange closed higher by 0.06 per cent, buoyed by the 0.08 per cent growth reported by the insurance sector.
Business Post reports that the consumer goods space lost 0.02 per cent, the banking and the industrial goods counters depreciated by 0.01 per cent each, as the energy index remained flat.
When the market closed for the session, the All-Share Index (ASI) improved by 31.43 points to 54,936.11 points from 54,904.68 points, while the market capitalisation went up by N19 billion to N29.928 trillion from N29.909 trillion.
Analysis of the market data showed that the growth posted yesterday was fragile as the highest price gainer, Coronation Insurance, appreciated by 2.44 per cent to 42 Kobo, GTCO also rose by 2.44 per cent to N25.20, Linkage Assurance grew by 2.22 per cent to 46 Kobo, Lasaco Assurance jumped by 2.04 per cent to N1.00, and Transcorp grew by 1.56 per cent to N1.30.
On the flip side, NCR Nigeria suffered the heaviest loss after its value went down by 9.69 per cent to N2.61, FTN Cocoa depreciated by 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo, Japaul lost 6.67 per cent to quote at 28 Kobo, Cutix declined by 4.95 per cent to N2.11, and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance decreased by 4.62 per cent to 62 Kobo.
Yesterday, investors transacted 134.2 million stocks worth N1.3 billion in 2,479 deals compared with the 127.7 million stocks worth N1.6 billion traded in 2,987 deals, representing an increase in the trading volume by 5.09 per cent, a decline in the trading value by 18.75 per cent, and a shortfall in the number of deals by 17.01 per cent.
The most traded stock on Wednesday was Transcorp with the sale of 28.1 million units, UBA exchanged 21.2 million units, Courteville sold 19.1 million units, GTCO transacted 13.6 million units, and FBN Holdings traded 8.1 million units.
FrieslandCampina Lifts NASD OTC Market by 0.07% at Midweek
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to positive territory after back-to-back losses, following a 0.07 per cent appreciation on Wednesday, March 22.
This was influenced by the 96 Kobo gain reported by FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc during the session to settle at N75.41 per share compared with N75.01 per share of the preceding session.
The improvement in the share price of the milk maker pushed the value of the unlisted securities market by N710 million to N961.17 billion from N960.46 billion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) grew by 0.54 points to wrap the session at 731.48 points compared with the 730.94 points of the previous session.
The level of activity witnessed a significant increase yesterday as the volume of securities closed higher by 274,515.6 per cent to 23.1 million units from the 8,408 units transacted in the previous trading day.
Equally, the value of shares traded at the session jumped to N10.1 million, which by evaluation is 814.0 per cent higher than the N1.1 million posted on Tuesday.
These transactions were carried out in 13 deals compared with the three deals executed in the previous trading day, indicating a 333.3 per cent appreciation.
At the close of business, Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 455.3 million units valued at N493.6 million, UBN Property Plc stood in second place with a turnover of 365.8 units worth N309.5 million, while IGI Plc was in third place with a turnover of 71.1 million units valued at N5.1 million.
On the flip side, VFD Group Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, Geo-Fluids Plc followed with the sale of 455.3 million units worth N493.6 million, while UBN Property Plc was in third place with a turnover of 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.
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