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Court Remands Man in Prison for N50m Bitcoin Fraud

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A Kaduna-based businessman known as Mr Joseph Adigizi Anthony has been remanded in prison for a fraud he allegedly committed in 2018.

Mr Anthony was remanded in prison on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 by Justice Mallong Peter of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna, Kaduna State, pending hearing of his bail application and commencement of trial fixed for May 13, 2019.

Business Post gathered that the suspect was arraigned yesterday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a five-count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of N50 million.

According to the EFCC, Mr Anthony’s journey to the dock began when the Kaduna office of the anti-graft agency received a petition alleging that he defrauded members of the public using a business proposal, in which he lured them to invest in Bitcoin through a platform called Bitworld Centre. He promised them good returns on their investment.

A petitioner had alleged that she sold her properties and collected loan from a Microfinance Bank to raise the sum of N1.739 million, which the defendant directed her to pay into his personal bank accounts. She later discovered that the business was a fraud. However, efforts to recover her money proved abortive.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Joseph Adigizi Anthony, sometimes in 2018 at Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud through your personal Guaranty Trust Bank and Access Bank accounts over N50,000,000 (Fifty Million Naira) credit turnover as collective investment deposits from one Salome Ambi Mamman and other members of the public by falsely accepting deposits for an unregister business venture with the Security and Exchange Commission of Nigeria called “BITWORLD” using financial proposal documents serving as a “Trainer Bitclub Advantage” and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offence Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Same Act.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

Prosecuting counsel, S.H. Sa’ad urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial while he prayed the defendant be remanded in prison.

“We are ready to commence with the trial, and we have two witnesses already in court,” Sa’ad said.

But the defence counsel, Chiedu Gwam, informed the court, that he was not ready for the commencement of trial and pleaded with the court to grant his client bail and his client to be remanded in EFCC custody.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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FG to Establish Gas Plant to Boost Electricity in Borno

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gas plant

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government is set to establish a dedicated gas plant to address the lingering power problem in conflict-ridden Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, when he led the management staff of the corporation and other partners on a courtesy visit to the Borno State Governor, Mr Babagana Zulum, at the Government House, Maiduguri.

At the meeting, it was revealed that Maiduguri and its environs had in the last seven years experienced series of power outages due to vandalism and incessant attacks on power installations by the insurgents.

In January this year, electricity supply was interrupted following damages on transmission towers along Maiduguri-Damaturu lines plunging the city and environs into darkness.

The continued loss of power supply has adversely affected small and medium scale businesses and other socio-economic activities.

In an effort to address this lingering problem, the NNPC and its partners in the gas supply value chain have concluded a plan to set up a gas plant to serve the energy needs of the people of Maiduguri and other neighbouring states.

Mr Kyari said the corporation would leverage on existing power infrastructure to deliver the plant in the next four months.

“We are seeing a very short time frame and we think that between three and four months we should be able to put up a power plant in this town that will serve Borno.

“I have the confidence of all of us, the gas suppliers, the potential supplier of the power plant itself and also the distribution company to make sure this thing works, we are counting on your help and support to make sure we deliver,” the NNPC chief said.

Mr Kyari explained that the project is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s cardinal principle of deepening gas consumption in the domestic market across the country.

On his part, the Borno State Governor appreciated the NNPC and its subsidiaries for always identifying with the state during trying moments.

He explained that the provision of sustainable energy is critical to addressing insurgency and other criminal activity in the region.

Governor Zulum promised to provide all the needed support and cooperation to see to the realisation of the project.

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Load Shedding in Magboro, Ibafo, Others Temporary—IBEDC

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IBEDC directors suspended NERC

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Residents of Magboro, Ibafo, Mowe and environs have been urged to be patient as the load shedding being experienced at the moment is just temporary.

The supplier of electricity to the areas, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Plc, said it was making efforts to make things better for the inhabitants.

In a statement issued by the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of IBEDC, Mr Akin Abiodun, on behalf of the management, it was stated that the issue was discussed with the community leaders on March 15, 2021, and an agreement reached.

Mr Abiodun stated that during the meeting, it was agreed that for fair and quality power supply, the three shifts load shedding arrangement was increased to four.

Explaining how things became worse, the CTO said the supply to Ibafo originates from a 33kV feeder which radiates supply from Oke-Aro Transmission Station through Magboro, Makogi, Oke-Afa to Ibafo, Asese, Orimerunmu, Pakuro, Lotto and Mowe axis and environs.

He said the current load demand for the axis for an equitable power supply is 35 Megawatts, but the allocated energy from Oke-Aro TCN is 13 Megawatts, which was the initial arrangement based on how sparsely populated the communities were few years ago.

The increase in population has created an attendant rise in energy consumption making the 13 Megawatts grossly inadequate, he explained.

As part of efforts to ensure an even distribution of power supply to the communities, IBEDC management met and wrote to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) requesting an increase in load allocation to the axis.

The TCN management, however, explained that all the transformers at the station were already overloaded and that plans were in place for the upgrade of the substation, he narrated.

According to him, IBEDC further requested for diversion of excess load on another feeder to Ibafo 33kV feeder, but that this request was yet to be granted.

But Mr Abiodun disclosed that IBEDC has commenced radiating another feeder from the recently commissioned Kobape Transmission Station in Abeokuta to Mowe/Ibafo to relieve the load demand of the area and that is expected to take effect later on in the year.

“The feeder is overloaded and it trips frequently. Frequent tripping of feeders shortens the life of circuit breakers and this necessitated the need for load shedding methodology that will promote amicable and mutual benefits to our substation equipment and all the communities concerned,” a part of the statement explained.

“IBEDC as a customer-centric company that has the interest of her customers at heart apologises for all the inconveniences this new load shedding arrangement might have caused our esteemed customers in Magboro, Ibafo, Mowe and environs,” the statement noted.

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Jumia, Others Float e-Commerce Sectoral Group Under LCCI

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e-Commerce Sectoral Group Juliet Anammah

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An e-commerce sectoral group has been inaugurated under the banners of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) by Jumia and other e-commerce players within the Nigerian tech ecosystem.

This move by the e-commerce players will support the development of private enterprises in various sectors of the Nigerian economy by exposing their products to a larger market, a statement disclosed.

At the inauguration, Jumia Nigeria Chairwoman and Head of Institutional Affairs at Jumia Group, Ms Juliet Anammah, was appointed the first Chairman of the new group.

Ms Anammah, who served as CEO of Jumia Nigeria between 2015 and 2020, said the formation of an e-commerce group by the LCCI attests to the important role and prospect of the digital marketplace in the economic development of Nigeria.

“The inauguration of the e-commerce group by LCCI is a welcome development that will have a far-reaching impact on the development of private businesses in Nigeria.

“E-commerce and its digital offerings make it a development tool for businesses. The private sector, dominated by micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), is key to the development of Nigeria’s economy.

“Today’s globalisation trend requires that businesses leverage digital infrastructure for relevance and growth,” she stated.

“As the leading player in the e-commerce market in Africa, businesses in the private and public sectors have been leveraging Jumia services and technology for sales, last-mile distribution and wider customer reach.

“Working with the e-commerce group, we will deploy our wealth of experience to further explore the inherent potential of digital services for the growth of the private sector and also address other critical issues such as infrastructure and regulatory constraints,” she added.

The LCCI was established for the promotion and protection of Trade and Industry, and to represent and express the opinion of the business community on matters affecting trade and industry in Lagos and by extension Nigeria.

Jumia is a leading e-commerce platform in Africa fuelled by the belief that technology has the potential to transform everyday life in Africa, for the better.

The firm is built to help consumers access millions of goods and services conveniently and at the best prices while opening up a new way for sellers to reach consumers and grow their businesses.

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P&G, WARIF Boost Schoolgirls’ Confidence

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P&G WARIF

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble (P&G) Nigeria, has partnered with the Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) to facilitate the educational programs (WARIF Educational School Programme.

This is part of its efforts to address the issues affecting girls confidence and empowerment and with the collaboration, P&G will facilitate the educational programs around gender-based violence and support WARIF with the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its frontline healthcare, which supports its “protect our heroes” interventions while promoting both its Education and Gender Equality Citizenship Pillars.

The partnership is driven by P&G Employees through the P&G Employee Covid-19 Support Fund where employees made voluntary contributions to sponsor identified NGO (WARIF) as part of giving back to the community.

P&G as an organisation matched 100 per cent of total Employee contributions to reiterate its corporate commitment to Education and Gender Equality Citizenship Pillars.

The mandated lockdown in 2020 and stay at home directive due to the COVID – 19 pandemic resulted in an increased number of cases of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) as well as child abuse cases reported to WARIF as more women and children were in quarantine with their abusers.

The WESP Initiative, which started on March 10 at Oregun High School, was a four-week program themed “Identifying the Signs and Preventing School-Related Gender-Based Violence.” The program included P&G’s “Always Menstrual Hygiene Session.”

Commenting on the initiative, the P&G Senior Director for Africa, Global Government Relations & Public Policy, Mrs Temitope Iluyemi, reiterated P&G’s dedication to gender-based issues.

She said: “At P&G, we are always inspired by initiatives like this. Beyond this, we have a target to educate more than 50,000 adolescent girls on puberty and menstrual hygiene over the next three years in Nigeria through our Always Keeping Girls in School (AKGIS) program which will also provide a year supply of sanitary pads so that they can commit to their education and their future.”

“These trainings and sensitisation will play a pivotal role in creating the necessary education and awareness in girls on social issues that impact their confidence around puberty. That is why P&G is happy to partner with WARIF to evoke a change in the prevailing mindset of the community and a create greater awareness about the issue of violence against women and resources available to affected girls”. Temitope revealed.

Commenting on the program, Founder of WARIF, Dr Kemi DaSilva Ibru stated that “With the increasing number of cases of rape and sexual violence in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more critical now to engage the most vulnerable age group in our society – young girls between the ages of 12 and 18, creating awareness by educating them and providing the necessary essential services to address the issue.

“We are thankful to the P&G Team for their support and partnership with the WARIF Educational School Program; WESP an initiative specifically designed to empower and equip young adolescent schoolgirls with a tool kit in successfully tackling gender-based violence. We remain committed to ensuring that all girls can live in a society free from rape and sexual violence.”

P&G also enabled the procurement of PPEs for the WARIF frontline Healthcare staff to facilitate their sustained engagement with the increasing number of affected persons.

The WARIF Rape Crisis Centre has so far treated 2204 beneficiaries who have benefited from medical treatment, forensic testing, psychosocial therapy, and social welfare programs. Survivors from various parts of Lagos State were given care protocols (internationally accepted protocols).

Over the years through proactive leadership and collaboration, P&G has tailored efforts to grow the reach and impact of positive action for communities, equality, and the environment in Nigeria.

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Rite Foods Files Suit to Imprison NBC MD

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Nigerian Bottling Company NBC

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The disagreement between Rite Foods Limited and the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) is getting messier as the former has filed a suit seeking to put the Managing Director of the latter in prison.

In an application filed before a federal high court sitting in Lagos, Rite Foods said the MD of the NBC, Mr Mathieu Seguin, should be imprisoned for contempt of court.

It was claimed that Mr Seguin disobeyed interim injunctions granted by Justice Aneke of the Federal High Court on February 9, 2021.

This is in accordance with the case of trademark infringement and passing-off of its Predator energy drink on the mark of Rite Foods’ Fearless Energy drinks, with the likely intent of confusing consumers to make the wrong choice.

In the application for committal, which was published in the ThisDay and Guardian Newspapers of April 6, 2021, the plaintiff, Rite Foods is seeking an order committing the contemnors to purge themselves of the contempt of court.

The court papers filed by Rite Foods through its lawyer, Muyiwa Ogungbenro of Olajide Oyewole LLP, shows that the court would be moved at the instance of Rite Foods for an order committing the contemnors to prison for disobeying a court order.

According to the application of committal in both national newspapers, NBC and its MD are restrained from promoting or using any material for its Predator energy drink in a manner that infringes or passes off Rite Foods’ Fearless energy drinks.

The documents also stated that NBC and its MD are in breach of the court order for failing to remove from the public domain, promotion materials already released including those released through Taaooma.

It further mentioned that NBC’s boss is responsible for the company’s breach of the court orders, as Rite Foods alleges that Seguin has the power to command its obedience.

On Form 48 of the Federal High Court, as published on Friday, March 19, 2021, in ThisDay and Guardian Newspapers, there was a notice of consequences of disobedience of an order of the court issued to the NBC’s MD and ex parte order restraining the company from promoting or using any sales promotion material for its Predator energy drink in a manner that infringes or passes off or that is capable of infringing or passing off the plaintiff’s Fearless energy drink, until the interlocutory application for an injunction is determined.

In suit No: PHC/L/CS/92/2021, the plaintiff, Rite Foods Limited, alleged that NBC has infringed on its trademark over its Predator energy drink, with a lion insignia in resemblance of the mark on its Fearless energy drinks.

The alleged trademark infringement, according to Rite Foods, has damaged its goodwill and it is seeking reliefs which include injunctions and damages for its loss.

And according to the provision of the Trade Marks Act, Cap T 13, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Trademark Regulations 1990, the alleged infringement is against the holder’s right of Rite Foods Limited, as the exclusive owner of the mark for identification of its products within the country.

However, investigation reveals that the Plaintiff, Rite Foods’ Fearless energy drinks, which consist of the Red Berry and Classic brands, were launched into the Nigerian market in June  2017,  and has gained a wider market share before the NBC’s Predator brand which made entrant in June 2020.

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Missing NAF Aircraft: No Trueborn Nigerian Will Criticise Military—FG

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NAF Aircraft

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The federal government has slammed some Nigerians criticising the military over the disappearance of a fighter jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, while addressing reporters on Tuesday, described the act as unpatriotic and “abhorrent.”

According to him, this should be condemned because “no patriotic citizen will denigrate his or her country’s military for fighting to protect the nation’s territorial integrity and ensuring peace and security.”

He said those who did this are not likely to be “trueborn Nigerians,” noting that the disappearance of the NAF aircraft is not what should be gloated about.

Mr Mohammed said the missing aircraft “has once again accentuated the huge sacrifices being made by our men and women in uniform to keep our country safe and to make sure we sleep well at night.

He said “while we await word from the Air Force on the ongoing search and rescue efforts,” Nigerians should continue to “support our troops and to continue to remember them in their prayers. This is the least we can do to show appreciation to these patriots.”

The Minister said the “federal government condoles with the Nigerian Air Force on the disappearance of one of its fighter jets involved in the war against insurgency.”

“Every day, these valiant men and women put their lives on the line, in the ultimate act of sacrifice and patriotism, for the sake of our nation.

“When they leave their homes, there is no guarantee they will return. Yet, they soldier on! This is one of the reasons why we launched a national campaign to seek support for our military and other security agencies in February 2019,” he added.

While commenting on the attack on police formations and the freeing of inmates in Imo State on Monday, the Minister said it was the “most unfortunate, dastardly, condemnable and unacceptable.”

“This attack fits into the growing pattern of inexplicable and anarchical acts by some malcontents, who seem bent on triggering chaos across the land,” he said.

According to him, all persons of goodwill, especially the traditional, religious and political leaders, must “speak up against these anarchists before they throw the country into chaos.”

“Nigerians must fish out those who are acting as ‘agent provocateur’ for reasons best known to them. We must not allow them to win,” he stressed.

However, he noted that “the federal government is resolutely tackling the insecurity in the country and I can tell you the situation will improve drastically in the days ahead.”

“Our security agencies, acting on the directives of Mr President, are taking concrete actions that will significantly reduce the level of insecurity nationwide, and citizens will feel the impact of the security agencies’ actions in the days ahead.”

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