Thursday, 19 July 2018


A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday admitted Clement Faboyede and Modupe Adetokunbo, chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to bail in the sum of N50 million each.

Faboyede, the Ondo State Chairman of the PDP, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on alleged N500 million laundering charge.

The EFCC arraigned Faboyede on June 29 alongside Adetokunbo, the Director-General of the party’s Campaign Organisation in the state, during the 2015 general elections.

They are facing a three-count charge bordering on money laundering, and had each pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On July 10, both the defence counsel, Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) and prosecuting counsel, Mr Ekene Ihenacho, had respectively argued their application in favour and in opposition to the bails of the accused.

Justice Muslim Hassan had then reserved ruling on their submissions until Thursday.

Delivering his ruling on the resumed date, the court listed factors to be considered in deciding a bail application to include the nature of the charge, the severity of the punishment, and the likelihood of the accused committing further offences.

The court held that the sole issue for determination was whether or not, the accused were entitled to bail pending trial, bearing in mind that the essence of bail is to ensure their attendance for trial.

The judge then held that bail was deserving in the circumstances, and consequently, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N50 million each, with one surety each in like sum.

The court held that the sureties must either be federal or state civil servants, not below grade level 15, or must be landed property owners within the court’s jurisdiction.

The sureties were directed to deposit the title documents of the property and two passport photographs each, at the court’s registry, which must be verified.

The accused were also ordered to deposit their international passport at the court’s registry, while the prosecution was given a week to authenticate the documents submitted by the sureties.

The court subsequently, adjourned the case until Sept. 17 for trial.

The accused were said to have committed the offences on March 27, 2015.

They were said to have conspired to accept cash payment of the sum of N500 million, which exceeded the amount allowed by law, without going through any financial institution.

The offences contravened Sections 16, 16 (2) and 18 of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No.1 of 2012).

Source: PM News

 Olayinka Oyeniyi Farounbi,Esq.

Olayinka Oyeniyi Farounbi, a candidate for the position of the Legal Adviser in the forthcoming elections of the NBA is a bar man per excellence. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws, LL.B in 1992 from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State and had his Barrister at Laws, B.L from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1993 and he was subsequently called to the Bar the same year, 1993.  He had his Master of Laws, LL.M from the University of Lagos in 2006.

He did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with the Law firm of Fola Ajijola & Co in Ikeja, Lagos State between 1993/1994 service year. From 1995 to 1999, he worked as a Counsel in the Law firm of Olubunmi Oyewole & Co, now Justice of the Court of Appeal, Calabar Judicial Division. In the same 1999, he set up his own Law firm of 'Yinka Oyeniyi Farounbi & Co, 114, Ikorodu Road, Fadeyi, Lagos State.

He is a member of the Ikeja Branch of the NBA and had served the branch in various capacities at one time or the other as the Auditor, Assistant General Secretary, Financial Secretary, 1st Vice Chairman and Chairman between 2000 and 2016. In addition, he served in some important Committees of the branch as member, Secretary and Chairman. He was a member of the Human Rights Committee and the Chairman when he became the Ist Vice Chairman of the branch. He is the Chairman of the Conference Planning Committee in 2008 and 2009 AGC in Abuja and Lagos respectively. He was the Secretary of the Building Committee of the branch under the Chairmanship of Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN. He has been, among others, a member of the Law Week Committee, the Countinuous Legal Education Committee, Pro Bono Committee, Local Organising Committee of the 2017 AGC in Lagos. In fact, he was the Alternate Chairman of the Sport Committee which successfully organised a football competition among the branches where trophies and cash prices were won.

The candidate for the position of the Legal Adviser has been an attendee of the NBA NEC meetings and the AGC since 2000 either as participant or Delegate. . He was a co-opted member of NEC in 2012 - 2014, a statutory member, as the Chairman of the Ikeja Branch, in 2014 - 2016 and the NEC Representative of the branch between 2016 - 2018. At the national level, he was a member of the Legislative Drafting Committee, 2012 - 2014, the Building Committee, 2016 - 2018 and the Legislative Drafting Committee, 2016 - 2018. He was among the NBA Delegates on Legal Services Trade Mission to Netherlands in 2016.

In all the positions so far held, he has not been found wanting and the various experiences gained in those years of sourjourn prepared him adequately for a day like this, and as the Legal Adviser, he will serve our association creditably well and strive to avoid any embarrassment whatsoever to the association. A crushing judgment was recently gotten against the association which almost brought its existence to an end, and this could have been avoided with a competent, diligent, painstaking and meticulous Legal Adviser. Never will such repeat itself under my stewardship as your Legal Adviser.

Gentlemen, trust me with your votes as your Legal Adviser and I promise to serve you positively in a way never to be forgotten in the existence of our organisation. 

Long live NBA, long live Nigeria.

Olayinka Oyeniyi Farounbi 
Legal Adviser candidate.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018


By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose on Monday vowed that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will reclaim the governorship mandate stolen by the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Saturday’s election won by Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

Fayose, in series of tweets on his twitter handle said “If APC truly won, why was it that there was no jubilation in Ekiti ? That victory of Kayode Fayemi is Pyrrhic, we will reclaim the stolen mandate in the court by the power of God.”

He accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being dictatorial and using his power to rig the election in favour of APC.

“On this Ekiti election, President Buhari demonstrated truly that he is not a democrat, but a dictator and fascist per excellence. It is only Buhari that will pride himself with the security shooting sporadically at polling centres, scaring people to pave the way for the APC thugs to snatch ballot boxes,” he said.

According to him, the President should bury his head in shame for using the police, army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and INEC to snatch the mandate given to Olusola and deliver it to Fayemi “whom Ekiti people rejected.”

“What Buhari won as referendum from Ekiti people, Nigerians and international community is shame, big shame. As for me, I am Peter Ayodele Fayose, I hold my head high. I can never be suppressed. I don’t lose battles and I will not lose this. By the power of God, I will laugh last.

“The President should note what the Bible says, which applies to him: “He that wears the armour should not boast as he that removes it.,” he added.

On Garba Shehu, Fayose said “that fellow is not to be accorded any attention. Being a fair weather friend, he would soon desert his current pay masters.

“Garba Shehu was in the Presidency, courtesy Atiku Abubakar for eight years and came back for this current dispensation still courtesy Abubakar. Now, he has abandoned the person who brought him to the limelight.”

Monday, 16 July 2018

The immediate past chairman of the Young Lawyers' Forum (Ikeja Branch) has written an open letter to the Governing Council President of the Young Lawyers' Forum.

Click Below to read the letter.

Supreme Court judges during a court session

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has dismissed all appeals filed by Ecobank Nigeria Plc in the ongoing dispute between the bank and Honeywell Group.

In a unanimous decision by the learned judges on Friday, the court ruled that Ecobank’s applications lacked merit.

Delivering judgment, the justices of the apex court reprimanded Ecobank’s lawyers for wasting the Court’s time by filing appeals which it described as frivolous, particularly in the light of the myriad of critical matters before the court.

The Supreme Court also warned Ecobank’s lawyers against filing such applications in future and awarded costs totaling N2,500,000 against Ecobank.

Before the Supreme Court ruling, Ecobank Nigeria Plc had previously suffered defeat in its dispute with Honeywell Group at the Court of Appeal when the appellate court also ruled against it.

In a unanimous decision delivered by the Court of Appeal on 30 March, 2016, the appellate court discharged the exparte injunctive/asset freezing orders obtained by Ecobank against Honeywell.

The Court of Appeal also affirmed the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Lagos to hear the suit filed by Honeywell against Ecobank whilst ordering accelerated hearing by the trial court.

It was these decisions by the Court of Appeal that Ecobank challenged at the Supreme Court.

But in its ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court held that Ecobank’s appeals were frivolous and they were dismissed.

Source: PM News

The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has ordered two companies owned by the Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu and his deputy, Mr. Mofe Boyo, to pay US$680 million (N244.8 billion) to Ansbury Investments. Ansbury is owned by Mr. Gabriele Volpi.

In a July 6 ruling, the LCIA held that Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP), British Virgin Islands, which owns 55.96 per cent of Oando Plc through a holding company, Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) Nigeria Limited, is owing Ansbury Investments Incorporated US$600 million (N216 billion).

Ansbury Investment counsel Mr. Andrea Moja confirmed the LCIA award in a statement yesterday.

Moja said the Arbitration Court also held that Whitmore Asset Management Limited, whose ultimate beneficial owners are Tinubu and Boyo, was also owing Ansbury Investment US$80 million (N28.8 billion). The cumulative   debt owed by the Oando chiefs to Ansbury Investment totals US$680 million.

Documents obtained from the LCIA, which is reputed to be one of the world’s leading international institutions for commercial dispute resolution, identified the family of Volpi, a Nigerian-Italian, as the ultimate beneficial owner of Ansbury.

The London Arbitration Court ruled that the “Third Shareholders Agreement” between the parties, is legally binding on the parties as claimed by Ansbury Investment.

The documents indicated that in a few days, the court will pronounce on accrued interests on the debts.

It was learnt that the ruling was communicated to the parties on July 9.

The statement said: “The claim of Whitmore Asset Management Limited that the parties agreed to a binding Fourth Shareholders Agreement was rejected.

“The alleged agreement by which Whitmore Asset Management Limited was to hold 60 per cent Of Ocean and Oil Development Partners (BVI) Ltd is not binding on the parties.

“Ocean and Oil Development Partners (Bvi) Ltd owes a debt to Ansbury Investments Inc for an amount of US$ 600 million.

“Whitmore Asset Management Limited owes a debt to Ansbury Investments Inc for an amount of US$ 80 million.

“This Partial Award will be followed by a Final Award in which the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) will pronounce on interests on the amounts owed and legal expenses.

“Given the above, Ansbury Investments Inc will immediately submit an application to London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in which it will be asked to charge Whitmore Asset Management Limited for all the due interests and legal expenses as well.”

When the disagreement broke in 2017, Ansbury had also petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in May over allegation of financial mismanagement, huge indebtedness as well as falsifying its financial statement.

In addition, Ansbury had also informed SEC that Oando’s “current liabilities as at December 31, 2016, far exceeds the current assets by N263.7 billion, confirming serious financial imbalance from the previous financial year”.

However, Lawyers representing Tinubu and Boyo the Group Chief Executive and Deputy Group Chief Executive of Oando PLC and co-owners of Whitmore Asset Management Limited, said contrary to the claim by Ansbury Investment Counsel,  Mr. Andrea Moja, the amount owed to Ansbury Investments Inc, owned by Mr. Gabriele Volpi, is $80m, which is owed by Whitmore Asset Management Limited, while the balance of $600m is owed by Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) BVI.

Ocean and Oil Development Partners (OODP) BVI Ltd, is owned by all three parties Wale Tinubu, Mofe Boyo and Gabriele Volpi, hence the judgment by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) implies that Volpi as part owner of OODP BVI owes himself by virtue of his ownership in the company.

It was learnt that had indicated that payment terms for the personal debt were being ironed out by the parties while payment terms for the $600 million owed by OODP will be determined by the LCIA.

The dispute between Gabrielle Volpi and the principals of Oando has been ongoing for over a year. It has caused concern for companies and individuals who look for investments to grow their business via individuals in the form of equity or debt.

Volpi, a significant shareholder in OODP invested in the company during Oando’s acquisition of ConocoPhillips Nigeria assets.  At the time, it would have seem like the investment of a lifetime, unfortunately, shortly after the price of oil crashed, many oil and gas companies folded up.

It was the resilience of its principals hat Oando is still alive today, industry sources said.

The assumption would be that against this backdrop Gabrielle Volpi would wait for OODP to start to reap the rewards of its investment however he has faced near financial ruin in his home country Italy and it seems is now by any means necessary trying to recoup his investments.

Since the upturn in commodity prices, Oando has recorded six consecutive quarters of profits.

The company kicked off 2018 on a positive note through continued restoration of value to its shareholders via profits in the first quarter of the year.

Credit: The Nation

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The death of Justice Timothy Oboh of the Auchi Criminal Division, Edo, on Tuesday, stalled trial in the N250 million libel case by Edo Governor’s aide, Taiwo Akerele, against The Guardian newspaper.

At the resumed hearing in Benin, the matter could not be heard following the death of the judge.

The court’s registrar, who announced that the matter had been adjourned till Sept. 26, added that the court would not be sitting because “judges are mourning the death of a brother judge.”

Akerele, Chief of Staff to Gov. Obaseki, had instituted a libel suit against The Guardian over a story it published titled, “Probe of alleged diversion of relief materials begins in Edo.”

In the suit, filed by his counsel and twin brother, Kehinde Akerele, the plaintiff sought “general and/or exemplary or aggravated damages for libel.”

He prayed the court to order the newspaper to pay him N250 million as general and/or exemplary or aggravated damages for libel and another N2.5 million as costs.

Akerele further asked the court to compel The Guardian to publish a “well-worded retraction and apology in a similarly conspicuous manner, which must also be published in another newspaper.”

The newspaper had reported that 4,781 of the 6,822 bags of rice meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)’ camp at Uhogua, Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state, was missing.

The state Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, had accused the state government of diverting the items, insisting that it must account for the where-about of the said missing relief materials.

The police subsequently invited Orbih for questioning over the reported rice scandal.

The state government, however, denied the allegation and maintained that the rice was judiciously disbursed.

It claimed that all the rice and other items, including shoes, were distributed to the IDPs and other orphanage homes in the state, aside the ones that were damaged in the warehouse.

Source: Pm News

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