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Jimoh Ibrahim, NICON to challenge AMCON takeover of assets

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NICON Investment and billionaire businessman Jimoh lbrahim are set to approach the court for an order quashing the interim injunction obtained by AMCON against them.
AMCON had in a statement last week said it had taken over Ibrahim’s assets over an unsettled N70 billion loans obtained from Union Bank.
AMCON listed the assets as the building of NICON Investment Ltd at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Ltd on Plot 557, Port-Harcourt Crescent, Off Gimbiya Street, Abuja and the building of NICON Lekki Ltd also on No. 5, Customs Street, Lagos.
Others are the building of Abuja International Hotels Ltd located on No. 3, Hospital Road, Lagos; another Property on Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Abuja; the former Allied Bank Building on Mile 2, Oshodi ExpressWay, Apapa Road, Lagos; Energy House located on No. 94, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; NICON Building at No. 40, Madeira Street, Maitama, Abuja; a Residential Apartment at Road 2, House A14, Victoria Garden City, Lagos; NICON Hotels Building at Plot 3, Road 3, Victoria Garden City, Lagos as well as the NICON Luxury Hotel’s Building, Garki I, FCT, Abuja.”
A report by The Nation said both NICON Investment and Ibrahim would plead before the court that the order granting AMCON possession of the assets was not properly obtained.
They are set to contend that AMCON did not avail the court of all the facts of the dispute between them.
Some of the questions they would want the court to answer are:
• How did AMCON secure a second interim injunction when the first injunction it obtained some years ago had allegedly been discharged?
• Did AMCON inform the court that on October 2, 2019 Justice Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in a suit it instituted against NICON Investment and others, held that in view of the facts contained in the affidavit before the court, the court was minded to stay proceeding in the suit pending the outcome of the suit before a Lagos high court presided over by Justice Oyefeso?
NICON Investment and Ibrahim are wondering if judicial notice was taken of Justice Oguntoyinbo’s ruling in which he said “the lone issue formulated for determination by the court is hereby resolved against the plaintiff (AMCON) and in favour of the defendants (NICON INVESTMENT).”
A NICON Investment executive, in an interview with The Nation, wondered whether Justice Aikawa’s attention was drawn to Justice Oguntoyinbo’s order before the temporary order granting AMCON the possession of the assets was given.
He said, “In the High Court of Lagos before Justice Oyefeso, Union Bank, in her statement of defence filed in court, admitted that Jimoh had a deposit of over £137 million.
“The bank prayed the court as follows: ‘an order for the sale of the funds standing to the credit of the pound sterling fixed deposit account maintained by the 1st defendant to the counter claimant; the proceed of which shall be applied in liquidation or part liquidation of the judgment sum as may be awarded against 1st and 2nd defendant counter claimants.”
According to him, the £137 million with Union Bank is three times higher than the amount he and his companies borrowed from the bank.
Besides, he claimed the bank acknowledged another deposit of £125 million from another company of his, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited, making a total deposit of £250 million with it 10 years ago at five per cent interest.
“Out of the total deposit of £250 million with Union Bank, £137million was used to secure the loan, he said adding, who is owing who?” he asked.
Ibrahim and his company, the executive said, are upbeat that AMCON cannot sustain the interim order against him and his companies “because there is no returnable date on the court file.”
He also claimed that AMCON “did not sign an undertaking for a temporary injunction in the event that facts were misrepresented to the court as requested by the rules of the Federal High Court.”
According to him, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), AMCON counsel in the new case had represented Union Bank in the suit before Justice Oguntoyinbo while Mr. Yusuf Alli (SAN), represented AMCON. Union bank, according to him, opposed AMCON joining the case at the Lagos High Court.

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Some public servants earn more salary than the president – RMAFC boss

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Mohammed Shehu, chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)

Mohammed Shehu, chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), says some political appointees earn more salary than President Muhammadu Buhari.

Shehu disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television on Thursday.

The RMAFC boss, who spoke on the commission’s plan to review judicial and political holders’ salaries, said some officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) collect salaries higher than the president.

He said the country needs to review allocations as some agencies remit less revenue. 

“The severance package of the president is just N10.5 million. This is after the president leaves office. You can imagine after spending four or eight years, that would be the only take-home. The salary of Mr President is not up to N1.3 million a month,” he said.

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“There are people in the private sector and others in other public sectors that earn twice, three times or four times. No public servant should earn a salary bigger than Mr President. But we do have public servants that earn salaries bigger than Mr President, such as in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), etc.

“My argument has always been that no public servant should earn allowances, severances, or salaries larger than the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, and I stand by it.”

Speaking further on how salaries would be reviewed, especially on current realities, Shehu said salary review would go through processes.

He, however, added that salaries may be reviewed upward after going through due processes.

“When you do a review, the takeoff point is not immediate. And this is a process that has to go to the president and then to the national assembly, and then it becomes a law,” he added.

“I can not tell you whether we can afford it or not, but what I can tell you is there are unremitted revenues out there, probably estimated from N6 trillion to N7 trillion that should be remitted to the federation account.

The Cable

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Buckingham Palace aide resigns over racist comments

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A Buckingham Palace aide has resigned and tendered an apology over racist comments reportedly made to a black British guest at a reception hosted by the Queen Consort.

Ngozi Fulani, the founder of a charity supporting victims of domestic abuse, alleged that she was repeatedly asked by a royal aide at a Palace function where she was “really from” in Africa.

The palace said it was taking the incident “extremely seriously”.

An eyewitness to the conversation, Mandu Reid, confirmed the account and told the BBC the questions put to Ms Fulani were “offensive, racist and unwelcoming”.

Reid said she had a “sense of incredulity” about the exchange with a member of the Royal Household, in which Ms Fulani was “interrogated” about where she was from – even though she had explained she was born and lived in the UK.

Ms Fulani is the founder of the London-based charity Sistah Space, which supports black women who have faced domestic and sexual abuse.

Along with 300 guests, she had been invited to a high-profile reception at the Palace on Tuesday, where the Queen Consort, Camilla, had warned of a “global pandemic of violence against women”.

But after the event, Ms Fulani described her conversation on Twitter, where she was challenged by a royal aide to explain where she was from.

She recounted how she said: “We’re based in Hackney,” and the aide replied: “No, what part of Africa are you from?”

She said, “I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records”, and the Palace member responded, “Well you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are you from? Here, UK.”

“No, but what nationality are you?”

“I am born here and am British.”

“No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?”

She said that members of the Royal Household were circulating at the reception and making “chit chat” – but she said it became a “really unpleasant interaction”, when despite Ms Fulani’s replies there was an insistent questioning about her background.

Ms Reid said they were “stunned into silence” afterwards and says that Ms Fulani should receive an apology and those working for the palace should receive training.

Both Ms Reid and Sistah Space have decided not to name the royal aide believed to be involved.

Palace reacts

In response, Buckingham Palace said, “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details.

“In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made.

“We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and are inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes.

“In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect.

“All members of the household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”

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Adeleke denies sacking workers, monarchs

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has denied making executive orders to sack traditional rulers and workers in the state.

He said he only set up a review panel and nobody has been sacked.

His Chief Press Secretary, Olawale Rasheed, who in spoke Rave FM in Osogbo, said executive order one to five shows the intentions of the administration to review, nullify, and set aside while the instrumentality to effect the orders was order six which is the composition of the panel.

He said: “There was never sack of any worker or traditional ruler. We only set up a review panel. It is impossible to sack and put a review panel in place.

“The review panel is to look at the numbers of the people that were employed, due processes of the employment, and qualification among other things.

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“Before our taking over, there were issues of backdating of employment, even till last year. So, order 1-5 will be operationalised by order 6 which are the panels.

“Those that were employed from July 17 till our takeover are still at work presently, they have not been sacked. The staff audit will review the employment.”

However, a statement by Rasheed said the governor has approved the dissolution of all non-statutory boards in the state with immediate effect.

“As a follow-up to the pronouncement of Governor Adeleke, on Sunday, November 27, 2022, all non-statutory boards, commissions and parastatals, including those of tertiary institutions (with exception of UNIOSUN) are hereby dissolved in the state, forthwith.

“Consequently, all accounting officers of such boards, parastatals and commissions are to take charge with immediate effect.”

Sun

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