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Nigeria draws Red Line for S’Africa…demands compensation

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, dismissed media reports that Nigerians were being killed in South Africa, saying only their properties and those of other nationals were being destroyed following the Xenophobic attacks in that country.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this when he addressed State House correspondents after a closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Onyeama regretted that the reports had distorted the situation and impacted on the federal government response on the incident.
“Of course a lot of things have been circulating in social media which have not helped matters. Some of them have really distorted the situation and because of that have impacted in our response.

“So, number one is that the information we have from the High Commission, from the Consul General in South Africa is that no Nigerian life has been lost during this crisis.

“And I think that is very important because on social media, there is a lot of stories going around of Nigerians being killed, jumping off buildings and being burnt. This is not the case.

“What we know is that premises, shops of Nigerians have been looted and property destroyed,’’ he said.
According to Onyeama, a red line has been drawn between Nigeria and South Africa over the lingering attacks, noting that African countries have built consensus against the attacks.

“We want to assure all Nigerians that this government is determined, that red line has been drawn and that we will not cave in on this occasion.

“The South African government has to assume its responsibilities and protect Nigerians in South Africa and we have to hold them to account and they have to do that as well as pay full compensation,’’ he added.

The minister confirmed that the Ambassador of Nigeria to South Africa would soon be recalled for consultation, adding ““Enough is enough – we are going to address it once and for all this time. This is the position of government”.

Buhari govt. finds silver bullet to shoot down $9.6bn P&ID claim


The Buhari administration may have found a silver bullet to shoot down the $9.6billion world record claim against Nigeria’s assets by Irish company Process and Industrial Development(P&ID).

According to reports, the rock-solid defence is contained in a UK law, that gives immunity to Sovereign states. Going by the law, P&ID should not even have dragged Nigeria to any arbitration or a commercial court, to try to milk Nigeria of hard-earned revenue.

But first of all, Nigeria intends to file a stay-of-execution of the judgment at the end of the month when the UK courts resume and has opted not to negotiate any deal with P&ID.

Thereafter, the government will file an appeal based on the extant law of the United Kingdom.

UK’s State Immunity Act 1978 (the Act) bars UK courts from confiscating assets of a foreign state without the consent of that state, gives it a leeway in the matter.
In an illuminating article on the law published in March this year, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (the largest law firm in the world devoted solely to business litigation and arbitration, said the Act allows a written consent of a foreign state before the enforcement of a judgment which could lead to seizure of assets or freezing of accounts.

The article was titled “Sovereign Immunity in the United Kingdom—Lexology”

The law firm wrote: “Section 13(2) of the Act provides that:(a) relief shall not be given against a State by way of injunction or order for specific performance or for the recovery of land or other property; and (b) the property of a State shall not be subject to any process for the enforcement of a judgment or arbitration award or, in an action in rem, for its arrest, detention or sale.

“Pursuant to section 13 of the Act, state assets ‘shall not be subject to any process for the enforcement of a judgment or arbitration award or, in an action in rem, for [their] arrest, detention or sale’ unless the state has provided its written consent (see, for example, Gold Reserve Inc v Venezuela [2016] EWHC 153 (Comm), finding that Venezuela had submitted to arbitration in writing by entering into a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with Canada) or the assets in question are ‘in use or intended for use for commercial purposes’ (section 13(2)-(4)). These provisions apply in respect to states alone as defined in section 14 of the Act, and do not therefore extend to separate entities (see question 8).

“This provision is subject to sections 13(3) and 13(4) of the Act. Pursuant to section 13(3), a state may provide written consent to the grant of any relief against it. It follows that a state may consent to the grant of interim or injunctive relief against it; however, the mere submission to the jurisdiction of the UK courts does not constitute such consent.”

According to The Nation, the decision by Nigeria to anchor its defence on this law, was taken at a meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja this week.
It was attended by Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister of Information Lai Mohammed; and Minister of State for Petroleum Timipre Sylva.

Others are Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs Festus Keyamo (SAN); Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mele Kyari; Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu; and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele.

The Federal Government’s team, made up of many lawyers, met with an American lawyer alongside Mr. Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), who has been central to the handling of the case with P&ID.

Okorocha, wife, daughter to forfeit assets to EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it has obtained orders for the interim forfeiture of assets traced to a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha; his wife, Nneoma Nkechi, and their daughter.

The Head, Enugu Zonal Office of the commission, Mr. Usman Imam, disclosed this on Wednesday in Enugu while briefing newsmen on the activities of the commission in the last eight months.

Imam said the EFCC also obtained similar order on a property traced to a former aide to Okorocha, Mr. Paschal Obi, and the former governor’s daughter.

He said that the commission had established prima facie cases against the suspects, which they would answer to.

Imam said that the commission would like to know how the Rochas Foundation and “other accomplices” acquired and or converted some of the property for personal use.

He listed some of the property to include a 16-block 96-flat structure and an eight-bungalow multimillion naira estate, hotel, two schools, shopping plaza, supermarket, hospital and four vehicles.

The EFCC chief said that while the hospital was traced to Obi, the remaining property were traced to the former governor and his family, including his wife and daughter.

“We hope to get permanent forfeiture orders on the property in order to return them to the people of the state,” he said.

Imam said that all the facilities, including the schools, would remain functional as the commission would not like to shut them down for the sake of the students and other users.


JUST IN: Musa Wada emerges PDP guber candidate in Kogi

Musa Wada, an engineer, has emerged candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16 governorship election.

He defeated other aspirants, including Idris Wada, his elder brother who is the immediate past governor of the state.

The PDP candidate secured 748 votes while Abubakar Ibrahim, his closest rival secured 710 votes.

Ibrahim is the son of Ibrahim Idris, a former governor of the state.

The immediate past governor of the state secured 340 votes to place number three in the election while Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, came fourth with 70 votes.

Kogi PDP Primary Results

Vote Count:

Engr Musa Wada = 748

Abubakar Mohammed Ibrahim (son of Ibro) = 710

Captain Wada (former Governor) = 345

Dino Melaye = 70

Aminu Suleiman = 55

Victor Adoji = 54

Erico Joseph = 42

Air Vice Marshal Saliu Atawodi (rtd) = 11

Emmanuel Omebije = 9

Mohammed Shuaibu = 4

Bayo Michael = 2

Jabiru Haruna = 0

Xenophobia: Tiwa Savage cancels DSTV Show


Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage has canceled her scheduled performance at the DSTV festival in South Africa in protest against the xenophobic attacks by South Africans against Nigerians and other Africans.

Ms. Savage’s cancellation came as another Nigerian celebrity, Genevive Nnaji slammed the killings and called on Nigerians to have confidence in themselves by staying back at home to make something out of their lives.

Savage who was scheduled to make an appearance on September 21 at the DSTV festival said she would not appear in protest against the barbaric attitude of the South Africans.

“I refuse to watch the barbaric butchering of my people in SA. This is SICK,” the singer wrote on Twitter.

“For this reason, I will NOT be performing at the upcoming DSTV delicious Festival in Johannesburg on the 21st of September. My prayers are with all the victims and families affected by this.”

“Killing anyone that is African is bad my people, whether they are Nigerians or not.

“I’m not in support of drug dealing nor am I in support of killing. The solution to fighting drug crime is not killing my dear brother,” she added.

Nollywood icon, Genevieve on her part called on Nigerians to have a change in mindset in their abilities at home.

“A life with us isn’t the worse thing. They need to see one without us. They’ve shown us countless times who they are. Let’s believe them.

“It’s time to show them who we are. But most importantly, it’s time we believed in ourselves. They see our potential; our greatness. We need to see it too.

“It’s tough out here I know, but sooner than later we’ll have to realize it’s all we’ve got. We have to make sure our energy and resources are beneficial to all things Her.

“We can’t ignore the signs much longer. Change is inevitable. Let us stay ahead of it. Long live Nigeria.”

South Africa: FG issues advisory against travel to high risk, volatile areas

Nigerians have been warned against travelling to “high risk and volatile areas” in South Africa until attacks on foreign nationals are brought under control, the Federal Government advised on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement by its spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, said that the Nigerian government totally condemns the renewed attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses in South Africa which has led to the loss of lives and property worth millions of naira.

Nwonye said the Federal Government is engaging the relevant South African authorities through the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria, the Consulate General in Johannesburg and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, to ensure that definite measures are put in place to curtail the attacks.

Nwonye added that the Federal Government commended the arrest by the South African Police of some of the perpetrators of the violence, and called on their timely prosecution to serve as deterrent to others.

“However, due to the tension created by the attacks, the Government of Nigeria wishes to advice Nigerians to avoid travelling to high risk and volatile areas until the situation is brought under control.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to assure the general public that Government is committed in protecting of lives and properties of Nigerians in South Africa,” the Federal Government stated.

Nigeria pulls out of World Economic Forum in S’Africa, ‘to recall’ high commissioner

Nigeria has pulled out of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, over fresh xenophobic attacks.

The country is also making plans to recall Kabiru Bala, its high commissioner to South Africa, according to a presidential source.

The source said the decisions were taken at a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, at the presidential villa in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Osinbajo was to represent Nigeria at the three-day forum ending on Friday.

In its initial response to the fresh attacks, the federal government had summoned Bobby Monroe, South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria.

Buhari also dispatched a special envoy to convey to President Cyril Ramaphosa, his concerns on the attacks.

Initially, Buhari was contemplating turning down the invitation of his South African counterpart over the violence against Nigerians in South Africa.

Ramaphosa had invited the Nigerian leader to his country on October 3 for discussions on strengthening the unity between both countries.

When both men met on the sidelines of the seventh Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development (TICAD7) in Yokohama, Japan, last week, they pledged commitment to the meeting which is now less likely to hold.

The latest incident in South Africa has sparked a nationwide outrage, with mobs invading MTN, Shoprite, PEP Stores and other South Africa-owned businesses across the country.

In Ibadan, Oyo state capital aggrieved individuals set MTN office on fire. The offices of the telecommunications giant were also attacked in Abuja and Akwa Ibom.

In Lagos, suspected hoodlums broke into a Shoprite outlet in Ajah, carting away items such as grocery, electronics and bicycles.

Founder of P&ID Had History of Projects that Ended in Lawsuits, Corruption Allegations, Bloomberg Report

Michael “Mick” Quinn, founder of Process and Industrial Developments Ltd – an Irish firm which secured a $9.6 billion judgement debt against Nigeria, had a history of projects that ended in disappointment, lawsuits, and corruption allegations, a Bloomberg report has revealed.

The Bloomberg report titled ‘Is One of the World’s Biggest Lawsuits Built on a Sham?’ published on Wednesday, September 4, said the case involving Nigeria “was just the largest—the one that was supposed to provide his biggest payday.”

The report which was based on a close examination of his career, drawn from public records, leaked documents, and interviews with friends and former associates, showed that Quinn who died of cancer in 2015 had a record of projects that ended in in disappointment, lawsuits, and corruption allegations.

A commercial court in the UK had ruled that Nigeria must pay an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID), a sum of $9.6 billion or have its assets to the tune of that amount forfeited.

The judgment arose from a 2010 contract Nigeria signed with P&ID, to the intent that the Irish company would build a gas processing plant to refine natural gas (wet gas) into lean gas that Nigeria would receive free of charge to power its national grid.

The agreement however suffered a setback in 2013 and P&ID won a $6.6bn arbitration case against Nigeria.

Last week, a UK court ruled that Nigeria must pay the firm $9.6bn or have its assets to the tune of that amount seized by the firm. The federal government has said it would appeal the UK court judgment.

Suggesting that the project was a sham ab initio, a quote in the Bloomberg report said: “A dying Irishman went for one last big score in Nigeria. The project failed, but a London tribunal says his company’s owed $9 billion and counting.”is

Moghalu: Why Nigeria Remains Poor
Detailing the genesis of the failed project, the report said:

“In 2008 the Nigerian government said it would end flaring by using oilfield gas to generate electricity. The minister of petroleum resources acknowledged that the challenge would be “enormous.” Converting gas requires it to be captured, transported, refined, and piped back to power plants and onto the grid.

“Officials struggled to persuade big multinationals to invest in the required infrastructure, so concessions were granted to 13 smaller companies, some virtually unknown. One was Process and Industrial Developments Ltd., or P&ID, which was registered in the British Virgin Islands but had no website or track record. Its chairman was Michael “Mick” Quinn, a 68-year-old Irishman with a rakish mustache and decades of experience in Nigeria, mostly as a military contractor.

“Quinn knew powerful people, including the petroleum minister, who guaranteed P&ID a 20-year supply of “wet,” or unrefined, gas for a plant the company would build. The raw material would be supplied for free, to be treated and returned at no cost. P&ID would instead profit from the byproducts, butane and propane. Everyone stood to benefit, not least the villagers whose homes would be lit by electricity rather than the wan glow of flaming methane.

“Then the plan fell apart. The government failed to secure any waste gas from oil companies, let alone link up the necessary pipeline, and the plant was never built. In 2012, P&ID notified the oil ministry that it was suing for breach of contract in a London arbitration forum. After a set of closed legal proceedings, judges awarded P&ID $6.6 billion, one of the biggest amounts a company has won from a sovereign state. When Nigeria dragged its feet on payment, P&ID teamed up with a hedge fund and moved the case to public courts, where it could ask judges to seize state assets, including bank accounts and cargo ships.”

It also revealed that in the summer of 2018, a man who had worked for Quinn contacted Joseph Pizzurro, a veteran New York lawyer hired by Nigeria to lead its defence in United States, seeking to talk about the P&ID case.

The caller was said to have told Pizzurro that Quinn had conspired with officials to profit from government projects that were doomed from the start and that P&ID was one of at least three such lawsuits involving Quinn.

“The caller couldn’t provide enough evidence to substantiate his claims, though, and he didn’t contact Pizzurro again,” the Bloomberg report said.

According to the report, Quinn who grew up in Drimnagh, a tough neighborhood in Dublin, trained as a mechanic after leaving school as a teenager in the 1950s. He later joined a show band, Royal Olympics, formed by one of his neighbours, as manager, and even arranged an Irish tour by Diana Ross and the Supremes.

In search of greener pastures where quick money could be made, the report said “At some point in the ’70s he started working in Nigeria, either as an oil trader or a financier of cement deals, depending on which of the scattered accounts of his life you believe. “He began profiting from a construction boom taking place in Lagos, which was then expanding with such chaotic abandon that hundreds of cement-bearing cargo ships were lined up at port waiting to dock.”

He however kept in touch with his roots in Ireland.

Detailing how Quinn’s life had been enmeshed in controversies bordering on less than transparent business dealings and corruption allegations, the report said: “In 1979 he and a partner, Brendan Cahill, formed an umbrella company with the resolutely dull name Industrial Consultants (International) to oversee their interests. They began working with the government, for example getting a public grant worth $450,000 to start a videocassette factory near Dublin. The project went bust within two years.

“Quinn’s business drew on some powerful allies dating to his show band days. One of the closest was Albert Reynolds, a former music hall impresario who was elected to Parliament in 1977 and became prime minister in 1992. Two years after being elected PM, Reynolds was promoting Kent Steel, one of Quinn’s companies, as a potential savior of Irish industry. Kent had recently won 3 million Irish pounds (about $4.3 million at the time) from the European Union to explore cleaner technology for making steel—potentially a huge boon. Instead, the project produced nothing but some sketches and a bunch of debris.

”Joe McCartin, then a member of the European Parliament, says he raised concerns with an EU official that the deal was a scam and was told, ‘Don’t worry. Your prime minister, Albert Reynolds, knows all about the project.’ The EU did eventually start a probe into the grant, and McCartin, who’s now retired, says its investigators showed him a letter from Irish prosecutors relaying that a fraud had been committed but that they couldn’t identify the perpetrators. The probe was eventually closed without penalty; the EU refused to fulfill a freedom of information request about the case, citing privacy rules. Reynolds passed away in 2014.

“Quinn’s name came up again during a nationwide corruption inquiry in Ireland. The Mahon Tribunal, as it was eventually known, lasted for 14 years, compiling evidence of graft on an epic scale. Quinn was called as a witness in June 2007, one of the few times he ever spoke on the record. The tribunal wanted to know more about relationships Industrial Consultants had with Frank Dunlop, a shady lobbyist, and Liam Lawlor, a corrupt Republican MP who’d resigned in disgrace before being killed in a 2005 car crash outside Moscow.

“Quinn denied knowledge of invoices that bore his company’s name—payments for golf fundraisers, he guessed—and said he thought his signature had been forged on checks. He had no recollection of many of his dealings with Dunlop. ‘You are a singularly unhelpful witness,’ Alan Mahon, the presiding judge, told him. ‘What you are telling us is nothing, absolutely nothing.’ “The tribunal later found that tens of thousands of pounds had flowed from Quinn’s companies to Lawlor, but Quinn wasn’t recalled to the stand, and neither he nor Industrial Consultants faced any action.

”By then, Quinn had developed a fearsome reputation. Several former associates told Businessweek they were scared to speak on the record about him, because they believed he had ties to Irish paramilitaries; one said Quinn told him his father had been in the original Irish Republican Army in the 1920s. Employees introduced him as “the chairman,” and he employed a man with a pugilist’s squashed nose to drive guests around Dublin, apparently without great regard for red lights,” the report said.

According to Bloomberg, throughout the 2000s, Quinn lived a kind of double life, divided between Nigeria and a comfortable suburban house near Dublin.

The report said Quinn befriended people in the corridors of power to put him in good stead in the country’s freewheeling capitalism.

“At home he was Mick from Drimnagh, living with his wife, Anita, who’d been his childhood sweetheart, and their two Doberman pinschers. On Tuesday nights he’d drop Anita off at bingo, then pick up fish and chips for dinner.

“Life in Nigeria was very different. The country’s freewheeling capitalism was fraught with risk and opportunity. The writer Chinua Achebe detailed the climate in his 1983 polemic The Trouble With Nigeria. “Contracts with the military government were currency, doled out by senior politicians to allies and friends as the public bore the burden of hidden kickbacks, inflated prices, and stolen materials. Military rule ended in 1999, but democratic Nigeria was proving just as restive and complex. There were tribal uprisings in the Niger Delta and kidnappings and religious conflict elsewhere.

“Quinn nevertheless thrived, befriending presidents and civil servants alike. He and Cahill used a company called Marshpearl to bid for lucrative military contracts, initially registering the name in Ireland, then in 1999 using the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. to create Marshpearl Ltd. in the British Virgin Islands. To the outside world, the BVI company was practically untraceable. Mossack Fonseca documents leaked to the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and made available to Businessweek by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists show that Marshpearl Ltd.’s directors were nominees, paper executives whose sole job was to sign documents. (Reached by phone, one of them, Nigel John Carter, a Geneva-based trusts specialist who was also a director of another Quinn BVI vehicle called Kristholm Ltd., said, “I’ve never heard of those two companies.”)

“Marshpearl sponsored a local polo team, giving Quinn an excuse to mix with the Nigerian ruling classes. His sons attended elite private schools with the sons of politicians and generals, who asked Quinn to help them acquire helicopters, Japanese motorcycles, and more. On the golf course back in Ireland, friends recall, Quinn would pick up the phone to talk to various officials or military leaders. “Did you get them guns?” one friend remembers him asking in his distinctive Drimnagh drawl. His golf buddies were never sure if he was joking. “His contacts included Theophilus Danjuma, who’d risen to prominence in the ’60s by leading a bloody coup against Nigeria’s military ruler. Danjuma went on to become a general, then entered business and eventually politics, ascending to defense minister in 1999. He later sold a stake in a Nigerian oil field to a Chinese state company, helping make him a billionaire.

“One of the few people who would speak on the record about Quinn’s life in Nigeria is Neil Murray, a friend of 30 years who was involved in several Quinn projects there. Sitting one night at the Abuja Hilton piano bar, a favorite haunt, Murray wasn’t hard to spot: a gray-haired figure so hunched over he was bent almost double, puffing cigarettes and chatting with businessmen and prostitutes, who called him Papa. After initially accusing a Businessweek reporter of being a spy for the Nigerian government, he agreed to talk. “Mick knew Obasanjo. He knew Yar’Adua,” Murray said, referring to former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. “He knew everyone.”

“Among the projects Murray was involved in was a contract to repair and upgrade 36 British-made Scorpion tanks at an abandoned plant at Bauchi, in the dusty heart of Nigeria. It had all the hallmarks of Quinn’s deals in the country: complexity, misdirection, and a substantial payday for the middleman. “There was a subsequent contract, and a subsequent contract, and a subsequent contract,” Murray said. “It was an ongoing process.” Quinn personally recruited military experts to manage the work and find replacement parts. At one point, Danjuma visited the site.

“Several people involved in the venture described each vehicle as an opportunity for profit. Petrol engines were replaced with diesel engines. New radios were installed. When faulty valves needed replacing, one former employee said, he found a British supplier for a few pounds a unit. “Too cheap,” he remembered Quinn telling him. They found costlier valves elsewhere. The more expensive the new part, the bigger Marshpearl’s cut.

“A memo viewed by Businessweek that circulated among Quinn’s team noted that Marshpearl had charged the Nigerian army for undelivered tank parts, making his organization “vulnerable.” But the company kept winning contracts, in spite of this hitch and others. It’s not clear how many millions of dollars Nigeria spent on the Bauchi project, but the relationship likely made Quinn a fortune.

“For one contract, a spinoff from the main deal, his company sought to supply about 4,000 rounds of tank ammunition made by Belgian defense company Mecar SA. A January 2005 memo outlining Marshpearl’s plan says Quinn’s staff told Mecar they would handle bidding, contracts, and billing. Mecar’s managers “do not want to know the details as they would be embarrassed with Belgian authorities and U.S. owners,” the memo said.

“The blueprint called for Marshpearl to establish a company called Mecar SA, register it in Cyprus, and open a bank account for the new offshore entity to avoid Nigerian taxes on the income. The original Mecar would write up a bid for the contract and send it to Marshpearl, where the document would be scanned and altered to increase its value by 20%—commission for Quinn and his friends. Payment to the original Mecar would be routed through the offshore one. All documentation was to be delivered by hand.

“The “paper trail” was Marshpearl’s greatest area of concern, the memo’s author wrote, without explaining why. Broadly speaking, while offshore companies have legitimate purposes, they’re also favored by those trying to avoid tax or government scrutiny or hide illicit income. In some jurisdictions, secrecy laws make it virtually impossible to find out who owns them. Registering a company with a virtually identical name to a separate, legitimate business would have the effect of further obscuring the real beneficiaries.

“To a watchdog or another outside observer, the Mecar arrangement would look like a simple transaction between a respected manufacturer and the army, with the middleman getting its cut. A tender bid document sent by the offshore Mecar to the Ministry of Defense a few months after the memo’s date placed the contract’s ultimate value at €4.9 million ($5.6 million), meaning Marshpearl would have made almost a million euros.

“Shown the memo at the Hilton bar, Murray said, “Very clever.” He didn’t see anything improper in the deal’s structure but added, “I wasn’t directly involved.” A spokesman for Mecar’s currenacquiredt owner, Nexter Group, said the Marshpearl deal took place before it  the company in 2014 and that it complies with rules and regulations.”

The report also revealed that Quinn was charged with espionage in October 2006 but the charge was dropped within a year.

“It’s said that in Nigeria you can go from pauper to millionaire overnight and back again just as quickly. Even old hands could be caught out by a sudden shift in the political climate, as Quinn was in October 2006. That month, he was charged with espionage and handling secret military materials, alongside his son Adam, a close associate from Ireland named James Nolan, three Nigerian officials, and three individuals from Israel, Romania, and Russia. Details are sketchy, but one of the Nigerian officials submitted an affidavit saying the indictment was over a “large scale of contract scam which involves very senior officers of the Ministry.” Nolan and Adam Quinn didn’t respond to requests from Businessweek for comment, but they denied the charges at the time. The prosecution appears to have been dropped within a year. A defense lawyer involved with the case recalls that the government intervened.”

“That same year, Quinn formed P&ID and began exploring opportunities in gas power. He also branched out into medical technology. In 2006, more people were living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria than in any country but South Africa or India. The Nigerian health ministry’s efforts to tackle the crisis included a multimillion-dollar partnership with Dublin-based Trinity Biotech Plc to supply HIV testing kits and help set up a factory at the Sheda Science & Technology Complex, which was being constructed outside Abuja. The contract for the factory went to an entity called Trinitron, which local media assumed was a subsidiary of the similarly named Irish company. In fact, it had no formal connection to Trinity Biotech of Dublin and was jointly owned by the health ministry and a group of Irish and Nigerian businessmen. Trinitron’s Irish directors included Adam Quinn and James Nolan, according to three people familiar with the deal. Quinn’s firm Industrial Consultants became a shareholder.

“A few years into the contract, Trinity discovered that Trinitron had registered a company called Trinity Biotech Nigeria domestically and another called Trinity Biotech Joint Venture in the British Virgin Islands. Executives from the original Trinity were furious when they learned of the clones. In 2008 and 2009, they pulled out of the project entirely.

“Trinity Biotech had no ownership stake in Trinitron or the Sheda project or in any entity or assets within Nigeria,” the Dublin company said in a statement to Businessweek. “Our role in the project was the provision of HIV test kits, which we did, although we were left with a significant unpaid debt when the project ended.” Eventually, government funding dried up, and, according to two sources, Trinitron was reported to local police for allegedly misspending state funds, though no one was charged.

“Gerry Nash, Trinitron’s former project director, said in a statement that test kit production at the factory in Nigeria hadn’t progressed because the health ministry wouldn’t buy the kits locally. ‘People in the Nigerian Ministries were more interested in picking up commissions on imported products,’ he wrote. He said that Trinitron had succeeded in developing an IT system and in training HIV specialists, and he denied that the venture was a failure overall, even though the Sheda factory wound down after a few years.

“Today, the Sheda site outside Abuja is overgrown with weeds. A pockmarked sign outside the front gate attests that Trinitron once operated there, but none of the buildings look functional. Gravel piles dot the parking lots. The handful of bored security guards and administrative staff on-site say only that Trinitron is no longer there.

“When it wasn’t possible to squeeze profit directly from a floundering project, Quinn could enlist the law for the purpose. In 2010, Industrial Consultants brokered a $5 million deal with the Nigerian Air Force to repair ejector seats in six Alpha Jets, small fighter craft often used to train pilots. A British company called North Wales Military Aviation Services Ltd. would do the fixing.

A few months into the contract, the air force terminated it for no apparent reason. The ensuing dispute ended up before a Nigerian arbitration panel, which found that the military had pulled out for ‘flimsy, untenable, and unacceptable reasons.’ It awarded NWMAS about $2.3 million for work allegedly done, plus interest, according to a copy of the private judgment seen by Businessweek.

“The case was straightforward enough, apart from one detail: NWMAS didn’t know about any of it. In a statement, the company said its executives had hosted Nigerian officials but never got word it had won the job. Instead, a few months after the visit, it received a letter saying the air force was suing for nonperformance. NWMAS managers forwarded the letter to Quinn’s team and heard nothing further on the matter until being contacted by Businessweek earlier this year.

“If NWMAS didn’t participate in the lawsuit, who did? Individuals from the Quinn organization. Long before the ejector seat contract was finalized, unbeknownst to the original company, Quinn’s team had registered a local entity called NWMAS Nigeria Ltd.—another clone.

Murray testified at the arbitration on behalf of NWMAS. “They never f—king paid,” he told Businessweek, referring to the Nigerian air force. He said the British NWMAS had been fully aware of the case and that NWMAS Nigeria had been created to comply with local regulations.

“Quinn’s organization apparently had trouble collecting the award. In 2013, Cahill sent a message to colleagues about the struggle to enforce the judgment in Nigeria’s chaotic courts. “The moral of the story is that ideally the ‘seat’ of arbitration should be outside of Nigeria and preferably in London,” he wrote.

“Quinn and Cahill already had a stake in at least two lawsuits against Nigeria before the British courts. One of the cases relates to IPCO (Nigeria) Ltd., formerly part of Singapore-based construction group IPCO International Ltd. The parent company sold most of its stake in 2003, leaving behind a shell company whose sole activity seems to have been to engage in lawsuits—notably a $150 million case against the Nigerian petroleum ministry over delays to the construction of an oil terminal. There were familiar allegations of overcharging, and the suit went all the way to the U.K. Supreme Court before being settled on confidential terms last year. How much IPCO Nigeria’s owners received and who benefited remains a mystery. You won’t find Quinn’s or Cahill’s name in the countless claims, counterclaims, and rulings produced since the case began more than a decade ago, but according to three people familiar with Cahill’s role, he helped manage the U.K. lawsuit for IPCO Nigeria in return for a share of the proceeds. The company’s director, Olu Adewunmi, declined to comment on whether Cahill was involved in the lawsuit.”

MTN office attacked in Abuja as mob lights bonfires at Shoprite outlet

The MTN office located in Karu, a suburb of Abuja, has been vandalised by some Nigerians protesting against the xenophobic attacks on fellow citizens in South Africa.

There was also pandemonium at Shoprite, Lugbe, along airport road, Abuja, as police fired teargas canisters to stop a mob from setting the shopping mall on fire.

The protesters, who were on the verge of setting the building ablaze, were stopped by anti-riot policemen.

They, however, set bonfires on the expressway, around the Shoprite outlet, and insisted on not leaving the area until they accomplished their mission. More policemen have been deployed in the area to restore law and order.

A traffic congestion has built up on the busy road as hundreds of commuters are caught in the fracas.

There have been reprisal attacks targeting South African businesses in the country since the latest round of assaults on Nigerian citizens in South Africa.

On Tuesday, violence broke out at the Shoprite outlet in Lekki, resulting in the death of one protester.

The MTN office in Bodija, Ibadan was set on fire in the string of protests against targeting South African businesses.

The police said they have reinforced security around some South African business interests across the country to forestall attacks.

JUST IN: MTN Nigeria shuts down stores, service centres

The management of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has announced the closure of all its stores and centres across the country over the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The telecommunications giant, in a statement issued to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), stated that it decided to shut down its stores because of retaliatory attack on its facilities in Nigeria.

In the statement, MTN Nigeria confirmed that its facilities in Lagos, Ibadan (Oyo State) and Uyo (Akwa-Ibom State) were touched by some angry Nigerians, who were not happy with violent attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

“MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN) confirms that over the last day our facilities, customers and some of our stakeholders have been the subject of attacks in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobia situation in South Africa. We have confirmed reports of attacks in Lagos, Ibadan and Uyo,” the statement said.

It said further that, “While we remain committed to providing uninterrupted services, the safety and security of our customers, staff and partners is our primary concern.”

“All MTN stores and service centres will therefore be closed as a precaution until further notice,” MTN Nigeria declared in the statement.

Commenting further, MTN Nigeria said it “condemns any acts of violence, prejudice and xenophobia and remains absolutely committed to ensuring a peaceful, harmonious and respectful relationship with all communities in Nigeria, and across Africa.”

“We are engaging all relevant authorities in this regard and urge them to act swiftly to reduce tensions both in South Africa and Nigeria. We will provide further updates as and when possible,” the firm said.

Ex-Goldman Sachs banker, who helped Ibori hide money, asked to return £7.3m

Ellias Preko, a former Goldman Sachs banker who was convicted for helping former Delta governor, James Ibori, launder money has been ordered to pay back £7.3 million.

DailyMail UK reports that a court in the United Kingdom gave the 60-year-old an option of paying the fine or spending 10 years in prison.

Preko, who is originally from Ghana, was jailed in 2013 for 54 months for his role in the scheme.

He was said to have used his ‘gold-plated credentials, expertise and veneer of respectability’ to help Ibori take money out of Nigeria and hide such in offshore accounts.

David Tomlison, the judge who heard the case, gave the Harvard graduate three months to repay the money or risk jail term.

When asked, Preko said he used the money he received from those transactions to run for political office on the platform of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Ghana.

Ibori, a former DIY store cashier prior his rise into politics, was jailed for 13 years in 2012 after he admitted stealing state funds during an eight-year term of office.

The court heard how he pocketed up to £160 million from government treasuries, depriving some of the world’s poorest people of the cash.

Preko, who represented himself, told the court in a previous hearing much of the cash had been spent on election campaigning back in his native Ghana.

“Most of the expenses are not receipted. Ghanaian political activities are not financed by the state,” he said, explaining that he only had few receipts.

I spent money to attempt some acceptance because I had been out of the country for so long. I gave money to women to build schools, provide scholarships, just to get my name out there.”

During his court appearance, Ibori had pleaded guilty to a seven-count charge of fraud and money laundering.

He was sentenced to a 13-year jail term and returned to Nigeria in February 2017.

Opponents of ‘no-deal’ Brexit defeat PM Johnson, who promises an election

British lawmakers defeated Boris Johnson in parliament on Tuesday in a bid to prevent him taking Britain out of the EU without a divorce agreement, prompting the prime minister to announce that he would immediately push for a snap election.

The government was defeated by 328 to 301 on a motion put forward by opposition parties and rebel lawmakers in Johnson’s party – who had been warned they would be kicked out of the Conservative Party if they defied the government.

More than three years after the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, the defeat leaves the course of Brexit unresolved, with possible outcomes still ranging from a turbulent ‘no-deal’ exit to abandoning the whole endeavor.

Tuesday’s victory is only the first hurdle for lawmakers, enabling them to take control of parliamentary business.

On Wednesday they will seek to pass a law forcing Johnson to ask the EU to delay Brexit – for a third time – until Jan. 31 unless he has a deal approved by parliament beforehand on the terms and manner of the exit.

It puts Johnson in a similar bind to that faced by his predecessor Theresa May, who failed three times to get the backing of lawmakers for the Withdrawal Agreement that she had negotiated with the EU. Johnson took over from her six weeks ago with a promise that his more robust approach would force a better deal out of the EU that would satisfy parliament.

The 21 Conservative rebels who now face expulsion from the party include Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Britain’s World War Two leader Winston Churchill, and two former finance ministers – Philip Hammond and Kenneth Clarke.

“I don’t want an election, but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop negotiations and compel another pointless delay to Brexit, potentially for years, then that would be the only way to resolve this,” Johnson told parliament after the vote.

“I can confirm that we are tonight tabling a motion under the Fixed Term Parliament Act.”

In an historic showdown between prime minister and parliament, Johnson’s opponents said they wanted to prevent him playing Russian roulette with a country once touted as a confident pillar of Western economic and political stability.

They argue that nothing can justify the risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit that would cut economic ties overnight with Britain’s biggest export market and inevitably bring huge economic dislocation.

Johnson cast the challenge as an attempt to force Britain to surrender to the EU just as he hopes to secure concessions on the terms of the divorce, helped by the threat to walk out without one. Ahead of the vote, he said would never accept another delay to Brexit beyond Oct. 31.

“Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal we might be able to strike in Brussels,” Johnson said. “Because tomorrow’s bill would hand control of the negotiations to the EU.”

Johnson’s government will now seek to hold a vote on Wednesday to approve an early election, most likely on Oct. 14. This would pit the avowed Brexiteer against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist.

In the Brexit maelstrom, though, it was unclear whether opposition parties would support such a move – which requires the support of two-thirds of the 650-seat House of Commons.

Corbyn has long demanded an election as the best way out of the crisis, but many of those seeking to prevent a ‘no-deal’ Brexit say Johnson could time the poll to ensure that parliament cannot prevent an Oct. 31 departure – with or without a deal.

After the vote, Corbyn told Johnson that he must get the Brexit delay bill that will be discussed on Wednesday passed before trying to call an election.

The 2016 Brexit referendum showed a United Kingdom divided about much more than the European Union, and has fueled soul-searching about everything from secession and immigration to capitalism, empire and modern Britishness.

It has also triggered civil war inside both of Britain’s main political parties as dozens of lawmakers put what they see as the United Kingdom’s fate above that of party loyalty.

Just as Johnson began speaking, he lost his working majority in parliament when one of his own Conservative lawmakers, Phillip Lee, crossed the floor of the House of Commons to join the pro-EU Liberal Democrats.

The pound, which has gyrated to the twists and turns of Brexit since the 2016 referendum and is highly sensitive to the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ exit, had briefly dipped as low as $1.1959 GBP=D3 before the vote in parliament. Barring a minutes-long “flash crash” in October 2016, sterling has not regularly traded at such low levels since 1985.

Fears of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit were rising elsewhere.

The European Commission said such a scenario was a “very distinct possibility” and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was the most likely scenario.

In a document seen by Reuters, the European Commission set out proposals to be published on Wednesday to provide financial help for EU businesses, workers and farmers if Britain crashes out of the bloc without any agreement.

It restated its view that a ‘no-deal’ divorce would hit the British economy much harder than that of the EU.

The U.N. trade agency UNCTAD said it would cost Britain at least $16 billion in lost exports to the EU, plus a further substantial sum in indirect costs.

The U.S. investment bank JPMorgan said an election would make a no-deal Brexit more likely.

S/Africa xenophobic attacks, a blot on common history – Atiku

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday say xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South-Africa it as a blot on common history of both countries.

Abubakar in a statement he issued in Abuja, described the attack as the most disturbing development in the turn of the century, stressing that Nigerians who live in the Republic of South Africa have consistently been victims of xenophobic violent attacks.

Abubakar, who was the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, said that it was unfortunate that both countries had not done enough to reduce the spate of those attacks.

He advised both countries to explore available diplomatic measures as soon as possible to address the situation, while urging citizens of both countries to see themselves as one.

“Both Nigeria and South Africa share a history of brotherhood and camaraderie at different times in our difficult times and it is very important that we do not allow this ugly development to cause a blot in our shared history.

“While I will recommend that both countries press all available diplomatic buttons as fast as possible, it is equally important to impress on citizens from both sides to see ourselves as brothers and never as adversaries.

“True, the days of apartheid in South Africa and military rule in Nigeria are far behind us, we still both have a common enemy and that is in expanding the space for economic prosperity to a large range of our peoples.

”The new battle is economic in nature and it will be delusional for both Nigeria and South Africa to think that it is a battle we can win in isolation of each other. Neither and never can victory in the economic battle come by the way of turning daggers at each other,” he warned.

Abubakar said that the only path to success in the battle against poverty and lack of economic empowerment to the peoples would require Nigerians and South Africans to soldier on as brothers and sisters.

This according to him must involve governments from both ends to rework their bilateral trade agreements and statutes to respond to the realities of this time.

Abubakar called on Nigeria mission in South Africa to open its doors wide for all humanitarian support that could be required of them from Nigerian victims of these attacks.

“Also, it will be a good take off ground for solution to this problem for the South African government to cause a probe into the attacks and bring all perpetrators to book,” he said.

Islamic group seeks arrests, prosecution of Oro cult leaders

An illegal round-the-clock curfew has been imposed on Idiroko, Agosasa, Ilase, Ajegunle and some other communities in Ipokia Local Government of Ogun State since Tuesday, September 3, 2019 by Oro cultists.

The curfew has paralysed commercial activities in the whole area as shops and markets are under lock and key. Women and strangers are not allowed to move about and schools are already affected., a statement by Prof. Ishaq Akintola, director, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC has said.

According to Akintola, the Oro worshippers who signed an agreement with Christians and Muslims at a religious stakeholders’ meeting held at the Conference Room of Ipokia Local Government Secretariat on 21st August 2019 have reneged on their promise barely one week later.

He continued, “The meeting was presided over by the Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) in Ipokia, Engr Babatunde Odunlami. Representatives of Christians and Muslims were in attendance. Security agents were also there. They all signed an agreement restricting the celebration of Oro festival to midnight from 12 am to 4 am. The signed document also indicated that there should be no restriction of any form to non-members of Oro cult within the period.”

MURIC provided more insight into the agreement.

“It was agreed that Christians and Muslims must conduct their services inside churches and mosques respectively. Outside procession with loudspeakers are also forbidden during Oro festivals while no religious group should, in their preaching or songs, call traditional worshippers derogatory names and no one should infringe on the fundamental human rights of citizens as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution. In addition, any religious group that intends to organise a festival must inform the local government, police and other security agencies in writing beforehand.

“The agreement was signed on behalf of Muslims by the Imam of Idi Iroko, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and two others: Faruq Tiamiyu and Yahya Ajibola. Christians were represented by Joseph Arogunyo, John Jayeola and Adesina Sunday while Ojo Alade, Gafar Waidi and Suuru Adeyemi signed on behalf of Oro worshippers.

“The DPO of Idiroko police station, CSP Opebiyi Sunday signed as a witness while the DPO of Ipokia was represented by CSP Oluku Sunday. Also, the Department of State Services (DSS) was represented by B. E. Bassey, while the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) was represented by DRC Garba Dare.

MURIC lamented the failure of leaders of Oro cult to abide by the agreement. “It is highly regrettable that these people failed to abide by the agreement they signed under the full glare of security agents. We are grossly disappointed.”

The group called on security agents to arrest Oro cult leaders and prosecute them.

“We call on the security agents to do the needful. Oro cult leaders must be arrested, detained and prosecuted for declaring this curfew. They have usurped the powers of the state governor and the chairman of the local government who are the only authorities conferred with the power to impose curfews. Their action is illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional.

“Besides, the illegal declaration of curfew on the area is an indubitable contravention of Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which says inter alia, ‘Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria…’

“Security agents have a duty to uphold the rule of law. The action of Oro cultists is capable of causing a breech of the peace because they have infringed upon the freedom of movement of Ipokia citizens. Oro cult leaders must therefore be held accountable. It is also important to note that this curfew was declared in contempt of court because there is a subsisting court ruling on this by an Ipokia High Court made earlier this year.

“As we wind up, we charge the Ogun State Police Command and the Ogun State chapter of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) to spring to action. Nigerians will hold security agents responsible if there is any breakdown of law and order in Ogun State over the illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional declaration of curfew by Oro cultists. Security agents must summon the will to nip this threat to peace in the bud. Oro cultists must no longer be allowed to arrogate executive power to themselves anywhere in the South West. Enough is enough

Ariana Grande sues fashion firm over ‘look-alike model’

US pop star Ariana Grande has sued fashion retailer Forever 21 for using her trademark style to promote its products without her permission, including adverts featuring a “look-alike model.”

Grande is seeking $10 million over claims the brand, and its spin-off cosmetics line Riley Rose created an online campaign with striking similarities to her music videos, such as “7 Rings,” from late last year.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles district court Monday, claims the campaign was intended to trick consumers into believing Grande had endorsed Forever 21’s youth-oriented products.

“Even a single social media post by Ms Grande can garner fees of several hundred thousand dollars, and her longer-term endorsement arrangements command fees in the millions of dollars,” it said.

Grande has 163 million Instagram followers, making her the most-followed woman on the photo- and video-sharing social media platform.

Images from Forever 21’s Instagram account cited by the lawsuit showed a model wearing purple camouflage clothing and a pink headband and boots similar to those worn by Grande in the “7 Rings” music video.

The images appear to have been taken down from the company’s social media accounts.

A Forever 21 statement denied the allegations, adding that the fashion firm has “worked with (Grande’s) licensing company over the past two years.”

“We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution and can continue to work together in the future,” it added.

One shot dead as protesters burn police van in front of Lekki Shoprite

A yet to be identified person has been shot dead outside the Shoprite premises around Jakande, Lekki area of Lagos state.

A witness whom described the victim as a protester said he was killed after an angry mob set a police van on fire during a protest on Tuesday.

Aggrieved persons had stormed the complex located on the Lekki-Epe expressway, chanting violent songs.

Policemen on ground had prevented them from gaining access into the mall but the protesters lit bonfires.

They also set up barricades around the complex, compounding the traffic situation along the ever-busy expressway.

Bala El-Kana, spokesman of the Lagos state police command, told TheCable that he could not give details of the attack.

“I don’t have any casualty figure, but I know there was a violent attack,” he said.

The development comes a day after reports of attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians, in South Africa, went viral.

There has been a nationwide outrage over the fresh attacks on Nigerians based in South Africa. Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, had accused the South African police of complicity.

The federal government had earlier summoned Bobby Moroe, South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria, over the attacks on Nigerians in that country.

Moroe had denied that there was no fresh case of xenophobia in his country, describing the attacks as “sporadic cases of violence”.

FEC meeting postponed for the second time since ministerial inauguration

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting will not take place on Wednesday.

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the postponement of the FEC meeting is to enable the ministers the time to study and have their inputs in the memos submitted by their predecessors.

He added this would also give them time to familiarise themselves with their work place, and to also work towards the 2020 budget.

“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting will not take place on Wednesday, September 4, 2019,” he said in a statement.

“This is due to the fact that all the memos earlier submitted to the Council for consideration have been returned to the various Ministries. This action will allow Ministers who were recently sworn in have their inputs in the memos sent by their predecessors in office.

“Similarly, the period is to enable the Ministers, who are still taking briefs from bureaucrats in the Ministries and familiarizing themselves with their work space, have more time to contribute to discussions at the meeting.

“They will also utilize the period of the break to work towards the early preparation and submission of the 2020 budget estimates.”

The meeting did not hold last week following the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari. The president was attending the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Japan.

The president had sworn in the ministers for his second term on August 21, but the first cabinet meeting with them is yet to hold.

Ex-PENCOM DG, Chinelo Anohu to head AfDB’s Africa Investment Forum

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group, has announced the appointment of Chinelo Anohu as head and senior director of the Africa Investment Forum (AIF).

Anohu, a highly accomplished international corporate lawyer, was the former director-general of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and a member of the London Stock Exchange Africa advisory board.

Her appointment took effect from September 1, 2019.

According to AfDB, Anohu has a formidable track record in formulating investment strategies, and brings extensive knowledge of institutional investment practice and experience in attracting new capital, expertise in the development of innovative asset classes, spanning pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private equity and private family wealth funds.

The Bank is set to hold the 2019 edition of the Africa Investment Forum on 11-13 November 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa, after a successful inaugural edition in 2018 attracted $39 billion in investment interests for bankable deals in Africa.

The Africa Investment Forum has become Africa’s premier multi-stakeholder transactional platform for leveraging investments from the private sector, African and global financial institutions, global pension funds and sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors.

It also provides an unparalleled platform for engagements with African Heads of State and Governments to discuss, in the Forum’s unique “Investment Board Rooms”, policy, business and investment incentives to close transactions in real-time.

“I am delighted that Chinelo Anohu is joining us as the Head and Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum,” Adesina said.

“Her can-do-attitude, leadership, hands-on experience in working with global pension funds and institutional investors, and extensive global networks among institutional investors, will significantly position and help the Africa Investment Forum to drive its global agenda to attract more investments to Africa.”

Chinelo began her professional career as an Attorney with the global oil conglomerate, Chevron, Nigeria.

She worked in legal and financial services firms in Nigeria and the United Kingdom before joining the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises, the implementation agency for the reform and privatization of state-owned enterprises.

As a consultant assigned by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Chinelo helped to restructure and privatize the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, Nicon Hilton Hotel, and AfriBank, among several others.

An adept and sound negotiator, she successfully worked with acquiring entities, liaising and managing complex relationships, including with the Nigerian National Assembly and labor organizations.

Under her leadership as Director-General of the Nigerian Pension Commission, the number of contributors rose from five million to close to eight million, while assets under management grew from $19.3 billion to a record $42 billion.

She also introduced innovative micro pension structures that created opportunities for informal sector workers to be included in the contributory pension scheme.

Chinelo created the first-ever World Pension Summit Africa, which was held in Africa three years in a row, and convened global financial experts across the pension industry.

She graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and a Master’s degree in Computer and Communications Law from the London School of Economics in 2000.

She has studied at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA and the Insead Business School, France.

Lagos condemns attack on Shoprite

The Lagos State Government has expressed disgust at the attacks on Shoprite Complexes at Jakande and Sangotedo Area of Ajah by some unidentified people claiming to be acting in retaliation against the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa

These attacks, according to a statement by Gbenga Omotosho, Information and Strategy Commissioner, are condemned as they are against the Nigerian spirit of accommodation and benevolence that the country in general and Lagos State in particular is noted for”.

“The Federal Government is in dialogue with South African Authorities to stop this obnoxious act. We appeal to our compatriots to eschew violence and any unlawful acts.

“The Lagos State Government wishes to reiterate its commitment to providing a conducive atmosphere where businesses are conducted without hindrances.

“The security agencies have been directed to ensure that law and order prevail in all parts of the State, even as Lagosians are advised to go about their activities without any fear.”

Xenophobia: Retaliatory attacks on Shoprite, MTN will hurt Nigerians more – FG

The Federal Government has appealed to Nigerians not to attack the South African businesses operating in Nigeria in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.

In a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammrd said that targeting South African businesses in Nigeria, like Shoprite and MTN, for attack over Xenophobia would hurt Nigerians more.

He said attacking South African companies in Nigeria was, for Nigerians, ‘a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face”.

According to the minister, the investors in such South African companies in Nigeria, especially MTN and Shoprite, are Nigerians.

He said the majority of the workers in the South African companies operating in Nigeria are also Nigerians.

“This means that, Nigerian workers will be hardest hit if such companies are forced to shut down for fear of attacks,” he said

Mohammed, described as “deeply disturbing” the reports that some Nigerians, angered by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, had started attacking South African companies in Nigeria.

He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government was already taking decisive measures to put an end to the persistent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.

”President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a Special Envoy to convey to his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, his concerns and also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation.

”Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, acting on the instruction of Mr President, has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria to get a brief on the situation.

“Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and secure assurance of the safety of their lives and property,” the Minister said.