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How Jide Omokore’s Atlantic Energy swindled FG $1.6bn

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Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Nigeria Limited, an oil firm owned by Olajide Omokore, that swindled billions of dollars from the flagship subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, is to refund $1.6bn to the oil firm following recent judgments obtained by the NNPC.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, said this was one of the recent achievements of the anti-corruption fight of the oil firm while speaking at the headquarters of the corporation in Abuja on Tuesday, after he was named patron of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria.

Baru said, “We’ve made a lot of inroads in terms of fraud detection, prevention and control. The most important thing for the economy and any business is to ensure that fraud does not occur. It is not to allow the fraud to take place and then you start fighting it. So, the prevention aspect of fraud is very key.

“Under the anti-corruption committee, we were able to ensure that all staff members of NNPC and those doing business with the corporation know the correct processes. They also know what constitutes corruption and, of course, they know the punishments that follow.

He added, “I will not like to itemise the areas or each aspect that we’ve done but I must tell you that there is a lot of sanity in what has happened. However, I can just mention one. Recently, we were able to get the Atlantic companies that were fleecing the NNPC subsidiary called NPDC ,and we got an award for them to refund $1.6bn to NPDC through the arbitration process.”

Baru said the NNPC had been able to address some high-profile court cases that were targeted at defrauding the national oil firm.

He cited an instance where the oil firm saved over $350m after it was able to settle a case which it had with another oil company out of court.

Baru said, “We’ve also been able to stem some of the high-profile court cases that we believe had been set up to defraud NNPC. And some of these activities are related to fighting corruption. If you see the amount of money involved and if you don’t have people who are determined to fight corruption, the chances are that you will be compromised.

“We’ve had some other cases, for example, NNPC versus IPCO, where they were demanding over $400m because of their activities. But we were able to settle out of court with them for $37.5m, which is a saving of several percentages and certainly less than 10 per cent of the initial demand.

“So, these are activities which the fraud investigation and, of course, forensic investigation are about, in order to ensure that fraud is not there because you will detect it, investigate it and prosecute it so that you get value for money.”

-Punch

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Zamfara polls: Jubilation as Supreme Court nullifies APC candidates’ elections, declares PDP winner

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The Supreme Court on Friday nullified the elections of all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections.

Delivering a unanimous judgment of the five-man panel led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, the apex court declared the first runners-up in the 2019 general elections in the state as the winners of all the posts earlier declared to have been won by the APC and its candidates.

Justice Paul Galinje, who read the lead judgment upheld the decision of the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal to the effect that the APC did not conduct any valid primary election and as such had no candidate for any of the elections in the state.

He described the votes polled by the APC candidates in the elections as wasted, adding that the party and the candidates with the second highest votes and the spread in the various elections were the valid winners.

The judgment centres on the governorship, state House of Assembly and the National Assembly elections conducted in Zamfara State on February 23 and March 11, 2019.

APC candidates, including the outgoing governor of the Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who was elected to the Senate, had won most of the offices contested for in the 2019 elections with the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidates, placing first runners-up in the polls.

Source: PUNCH

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Reps demand forensic audit of $3.2bn NNPC pipeline project

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The House of Representatives has called for forensic audit of three pipeline projects worth $3.288billion.

The House Committee on gas resources that investigated the contract for the upgrade of OML 58 Upgrade 1; execution of Obite-Ubeta-Rumuji (OUR) pipeline; and the Northern Option Pipeline Projects recommended forensic investigation into the projects.

The committee chaired by Fred Agbedi (PDP, Bayelsa) called for forensic investigative audit into the cost overrun emanating from all change orders, including USD 2.2 billion on OML 58 Upgrade 1, USD560 million on OUR Pipeline and USD 528 million on NOPL Pipeline Projects.

The committee admitted difficulty in establishing the true cost, claiming that all the parties involved in the contract gave contradictory figures.

The committee called for “thorough investigation of the professional and/or personal relationship between NNPC/NAPIMS Management and TEPNG on the one hand and TEPNG and local contractors on the other hand in relation to this project to establish claims by parties and ensure fairness of purpose.”

The House also resolved to recover the sum of US592million from TEPNG in line with recommendations of Tabor VFM Audit Report; and that all ‘contracts awarded in this sector should be subjected to Value for Money Audit.”

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BREAKING: Police Council confirms Adamu Mohammed as IGP

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Mohammed

The National Council of State and National Police Council has approved the appointment of the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed as the new IG of the Nigeria Police Force.

Adamu was confirmed at the police council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

Musiliu Smith, chairman of the police service commission, and governors of the 36 states were part of the meeting.

Mohammed was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15, 2019 following the retirement of former IGP, Ibrahim Idris.

More details later

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