Nigeria’s bid to nail P&ID in $9bn case suffers setback – Newstrends
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Nigeria’s bid to nail P&ID in $9bn case suffers setback

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Nigeria’s bid to set aside the $9bn P&ID Limited’s arbitration award has suffered a setback as VR Capital Group Limited has secured a United States’ court ruling to block the Federal Government from accessing its internal documents.

The move to access the documents was part of the government’s attempt to stop P&ID Limited, partly owned by VR, from collecting the nearly $9bn arbitration award.

US District Judge, Paul Engelmayer, in New York granted the hedge fund’s motion, overturning a ruling from May and quashing subpoenas issued by Nigeria.

Bloomberg reported that Nigeria sought the information to aid a corruption probe into P&ID Ltd., a company in which VR Capital acquired a 25 per cent interest in 2018.

Nigeria’s anti-graft agency is investigating a gas-supply contract a former minister concluded with P&ID in 2010 and subsequent arbitration proceedings that resulted in the hefty penalty against the country three years ago. The federal government alleged that the British Virgin Islands-registered company developed sham arrangements designed to fail and has accused P&ID of bribing its officials.

Nigeria is in English courts attempting to overturn both the 2017 arbitration award and a decision by a UK judge last year upholding it, claiming P&ID’s alleged fraud only recently came to light.

P&ID had denied any wrongdoing, saying Nigeria invented the accusations to evade its legal obligations.

Six months ago, Judge Lorna Schofield, also in the Southern District of New York, granted Nigeria permission to gather information from US banks concerning transactions involving companies and people affiliated with P&ID, as well as former government officials.

The Nigerian government also wanted VR Capital to hand over documents concerning its purchase of P&ID shares as well as the decade-old contract and ensuing arbitration.

But VR Capital applied to the federal court in New York to set aside the subpoenas principally on the grounds that Nigeria should have sought authorisation through its mutual legal assistance treaty with the United States. While the hedge fund is based in London, the four entities and two directors targeted by Nigeria are in New York.

Nigeria “misled” Schofield by denying any intention to use the documents in the English proceedings, according to Engelmayer’s November 6 opinion.

VR Capital claimed Nigeria would use the information provided by the hedge fund for the same goal.

Nigeria told Engelmayer that the main use of VR Capital documents would be in its domestic corruption probes. In his ruling, Engelmayer accepted Nigeria’s argument that it would be permissible for the government to present some material to support efforts to challenge the arbitration award in England.

However, a review of the request by the U.S. Justice Department under the treaty would help decide if the information sought was “genuinely intended for use in a criminal prosecution or investigation” or “the improper purpose of fortifying Nigeria’s attempt in the English courts to void the multi-billion-dollar arbitral award against it,” Engelmayer said.

It is unclear if Nigeria plans to submit a new application under the bilateral agreement.

“Delay tactics” adopted by VR Capital and P&ID are “prolonging the discovery process and preventing us from obtaining critical evidence,” a spokeswoman for Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, said.

“These evasive efforts are manifestly inconsistent with P&ID’s position that it has nothing to hide,” she said.

“Misleading the U.S. court” is part of Nigeria’s last-ditch efforts to avoid payment of the arbitration award,” said Zachary Rosenbaum, a lawyer at Kobre & Kim LLP who is representing P&ID and VR Capital.

Nigeria scored a victory in September when a London judge ruled the government had established a “strong prima facie case of fraud” against P&ID and should be permitted to test its allegations at a trial to determine the legitimacy of the arbitration award.

Following the decision, Nigeria’s lawyers wrote to Engelmayer asking him to dismiss VR Capital’s motion.

Information collected from the banks had contributed evidence to the anti-corruption agency’s probe, which in turn had been “critical” to the country’s success in the English court, they said.

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Senate kicks against removal of electricity subsidy 

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Senate kicks against removal of electricity subsidy 

 

The Senate has opposed an attempt to increase electricity tariff through the removal of subsidy.

It asked the Federal Government to drop the plan to remove subsidies on electricity.

The decision came on Wednesday after Aminu Iya Abbas, senator representing Adamawa central, and 10 others sponsored a motion against the removal of electricity.

The red chamber asked its committee on power to probe a claim by Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu,

that the government owes N1.3 trillion and $1.3 billion to generating companies (GenCos) and gas companies.

Last week, Adelabu said Nigeria’s debt to generation and gas companies was N3 trillion, adding that paying subsidy on electricity was no longer sustainable.

While moving the motion, Abbas said the electricity tariff could not be increased because a large number of Nigerians are living below the “poverty line”.

“In addition to the high cost of living being experienced in the country, the unmetered customers who are owners of small and medium enterprises are adversely impacted by this level of exorbitant electricity charges and by implication have their businesses affected,” the senator said.

“While the prospect of the new electricity act, 2023 of ensuring accurate electricity charges will be negated if DISCOs are not investigated to ascertain the current statistical data on unmetered customers, poor provision of electricity service despite exorbitant tariff and regulatory role of NERC which leaves much to be desired.”

The senate also told the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to come up with a lasting solution to the energy billing system.

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Jetour unveils another SUV, X70 Plus, with elegant features

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Jetour unveils another SUV, X70 Plus, with elegant features

Jetour has flaunted to the Nigerian SUV lovers features of its new model, X70 Plus, also called Elegance in this market.
The auto Jetour Mobility Service says in a statement that the model is coming with stylish design and outstanding power.
“Looking for a compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) that is pragmatic, stylish, and comfortable, delivering power on demand? Then the Jetour X70 Plus, newly introduced in Nigeria by Jetour Mobility Services, is what you desire. The Jetour X70 Plus has both 1.5T 6DCT and 1.6T 7DCT just like the Dashing,” it states.
It is equipped with a 20-inch aluminum wheel hub featuring light weight, higher firmness, faster heat dissipation and better aesthetics, which enhances better fuel consumption, stability and safety.

Still on the exterior features, the vertically aligned transparent LED light, as well as the shark fin antenna improves safety and reduces wind resistance respectively.

According to Jetour, “its impressive grill, large wheels and four LED daytime running lights perfectly complements its bold and muscular look. Featuring a wide, captivating, 62-inch ultra-wide angle panoramic roof that enhances your drive with natural lighting and ventilation.”

The Jetour X70 comes with a number of other features such as a touch screen panel that controls the air conditioning system; infotainment system compatible with latest generation smart phones; digital cockpit; front and rear parking radars; and a 10.25- inch full LCD Dual smart screen.

Its rear seat can be folded for increased cargo space, and the automatic luggage door makes access to the luggage compartment easier.

The vehicle also comes with intelligent air purification system, intuitive infotainment system, advanced wireless technology, 360-degree parking system and electrical 6-directional control driver seat.

Other features include cruise control, lane departure warning system, blind spot monitoring, keyless engine start, keyless entry start, multi-functional steering wheel, anti-lock brake system, front and back air bags and tyre pressure monitoring system.

Jetour X70 Plus advanced safety and stability features also include Hill Start Assist, Traction Control, electronic stability.

Paired with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, the vehicle’s 1.6 litre turbo engine produces maximum of 197 horsepower, facilitating better fuel consumption efficiency.

The suspension system has been engineered to withstand both On-road and Off-road terrain, be it city drive or highway drive.

The Jetour X70 Plus, known for its charming and radiant appearance and friendly ambience, comes in a variety of colours such as red, gray, blue among others.

With an apt slogan of Drive Your Future, Jetour is a product of a well-established family, the Chery Holding Group, with more than 120 billion Yuan in total asset.

Based on 23 years of production experiences, Chery Holding Group has sold over 8.5 million cars, exports exceed 1.6 million cars, and it has ranked number one in China’s passenger vehicle export 18 years in a row.
Deriving its name from two words: Jet + tour, the Nigerian representative says that the name connotes: “convenient tour”, meaning that clients who work hard in many industries can finally enjoy the benefit of their wonderful and happy lifestyle, because every moment on the road is worth cherishing and remembering.

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Naira freefall: EFCC raids BDC operators in Abuja, arrests 50

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Naira freefall: EFCC raids BDC operators in Abuja, arrests 50

The officers of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, raided and arrested over 50 illegal Bureau De Change operators in Wuse Zone 4 Abuja, over the continued free fall of the Naira in the Foreign Exchange Market, News Direct reports.

Dayyabu Mistila, a Bureau De Change operator in Wuse Zone 4, disclosed this to News Direct on Monday.

According to Mistila, the operatives said the raid was because of the rising exchange rate of the US dollar and other currencies against the Naira at the forex market.

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“Around 3 pm on Monday, officers of EFCC raided Wuse Zone 4 and arrested over 50 of our members. They were complaining that BDC operators are responsible for the rising exchange rate of the Dollar, the parallel exchange market”.

When asked the rate of Dollar to Naira on Monday, he told our Correspondent that it traded for N1,660 per Dollar.

Similarly, official FMDQ data showed that Naira dropped to N1574.62 per US dollar on Monday.

Efforts to speak with the spokesperson, Dele Olyewale, were unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.

News Direct recalls that the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso and the Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, met on February 3 2024, in an effort to curb the continued fall of the Naira in FX market.

Naira freefall: EFCC raids BDC operators in Abuja, arrests 50

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