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AA Oil boss, Aliyu Abubakar faces trial in Italy over $500m bribe

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AA Oil boss, Aliyu Abubakar

An Italian judge has ordered a Nigerian businessman and AA Oil boss, Aliyu Abubakar, to stand trial for alleged international corruption relating to a Nigeria oil graft case involving Eni and Shell, a judicial source and his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Milan prosecutors allege that Abubakar, a reclusive billionaire and chairman of AA Oil, played a central role in one of the oil industry’s biggest scandals in years, handing out more than $500 million in cash to powerful Nigerian government officials.

The money is alleged to come out of the $1.3 billion licence fee paid by Eni and Shell for access to the OPL-245 offshore oilfield located in the southern Niger Delta.

Abubakar’s Italian lawyer, Davide Pozzi, said his client, who lives in Nigeria, denies any wrongdoing in the case.

“Mr Abubakar will clarify his position in the appropriate place,” he said.

Italian prosecutors allege that Eni and Shell bought the oilfield in 2011 knowing that most of the purchase price would be siphoned off to middlemen and local politicians.

Both firms and the managers accused in the Milan court case, including Eni’s current chief executive Claudio Descalzi, have denied any wrongdoing.

Abubakar, an influential Nigerian businessman, was already under investigation but prosecutors were unable to locate him to serve the necessary deeds to put him on trial until he appeared in the case as a witness via a video linkup in February 2019.

The start of his trial has been scheduled for May 14 before a Milan court, Pozzi said. However it is unclear whether he will actually appear.

In the main part of the multi-strand case, prosecutors are due to begin summing up and setting out sentencing requests for Descalzi and other defendants beginning on March 25.

*Source: Reuters

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[BREAKING] COVID-19: Nigeria records another eight new cases, toll now 97

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[BREAKING] COVID-19: Nigeria records another eight new cases, toll now 97

The number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Nigeria hit 97 on Saturday evening with eight fresh cases, says the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

“As at 10:40 pm 28th March there are 97 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria with 1 death,” it stated.

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COVID-19: Please, pray for my husband, El-Rufai’s wife begs Nigerians

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COVID-19: Please, pray for my husband, El-Rufai’s wife begs Nigerians

Hadiza Isma, the wife of the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has appealed to Nigerians to offer prayers for the quick recovery of her husband who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

She made the appeal a few minutes after her husband disclosed that he tested positive for the virus on Twitter.

THE WITNESS reports that El-Rufai had on Saturday announced that he had been infected with the virus but had no symptoms.

“Dear Tweeps, my husband, the Governor of Kaduna State has tested positive for COVID-19. Please keep us in your prayers,” she tweeted.

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BREAKING: El-Rufai tests positive for coronavirus

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2023 Presidency: Why power should go to the south - El-rufai

Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The governor, in a live broadcast said he submitted a sample for the COVID-19 test and the result came in positive.

He stated he has been in isolation according to doctors’ order.

He said: “Earlier this week, I submited a sample for the COVID-19 test and the result came in this evening and I regret to say that it is positive.

“According to the protocols for managing COVID-19, I am in self-isolation as required by the case management guidelines of the NCDC for a someone that is no showing symptoms.

“I wish to appeal to the people of Kaduna State to continue to closely observe the preventive measures already announced.

“It is most important that everybody should do their utmost to stay safe, stay home and stay alive.

“The Deputy Governor is chairing our COVID Taskforce and will continue to issue statements from time to time,” he said

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