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Defamation: Emefiele Threatens Lawsuit Against Akpabio, Demands N1bn, Written Apology

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The embattled former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has demanded N1billion damages from Senate President, Godswill Akpabio for alleged defamation.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Matthew Burkaa, in a notice to the Senate President dated February 19, 2024, faulted the “we don’t know what to charge Emefiele with” statement credited to Akpabio on February 18, 2024.

Emefiele, through his lawyer, considered Akpabio’s comment “false, distorted and clearly aimed at disparaging his character and indeed made in bad faith”.

The Senate President at a thanksgiving service by Senator Barinada Mpigi in Koroma, Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday, had said Emefiele left the Nigerian economy in a mess and the Federal Government does not know the charges to levy against the ex-apex bank chief in the eye of the storm.

The President Bola Tinubu administration, through anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is currently probing the affairs of ex-CBN governor.

Burkaa said contrary to Akpabio’s claim, the Federal Government had since August 14, 2023 preferred charges against Emefiele and his client had pleaded not guilty of the said allegations.

Burkaa, in his letter to Akpabio, said: “Your statement attributing the present economic woes of the country solely on our client is most appalling and exposes the inaccuracies in Your assertions, especially, as you were a major player in the immediate Past Administration and worked closely with our client and indeed witnessed the innovations he introduced in the banking sector and its impact on the economy whilst in office, as well as the role he played despite all odds in salvaging Nigeria in the P & ID Saga and the positive result it brought for Nigeria.”

“You are also aware that no single policy was carried out by our client without the approval, directive or authorization of the President and/or the Federal Executive Council of which you were a key and powerful member.

“These baseless and false allegations clearly defames the character of our client and has also caused him great pains and embarrassment as it has lowered his esteem before the right thinking members of the society in addition to the obvious odium and opprobrium from the unsuspecting members of the society as a result of the falsity contained in that statement.

“We, therefore, have our client’s further instruction to demand from you an unreserved apology in writing, published and circulated by the same medium with which you have defamed his character and the sum of One Billion Naira (N1,000,000,000) as reasonable compensation for the willful and unjustifiable denigration of his hard earned reputation.

“In the event that you fail, refuse or neglect to comply with this legitimate demand, our client will be at liberty to seek the appropriate redress available to him under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

View a copy of the letter:

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FG Dismisses Dangote Petroleum As Inferior, Says Refinery Not Yet Licenced, Not Completed

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By Eric Elezuo

A Federal Government of Nigeria petroleum regulatory agency, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA), has dismissed petroleum products from the Dangote Refinery as inferior, in the guise of those f4om Watersmith and Aradel, making a case for superiority of imported ones.

The revelation was made by the Chief Executive Officer of NMDPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, while responding to questions from a section of the press, a video of which is trending online, adding that the refinery is only 45% completed, and yet to be licenced for operation by the Nigerian government.

Earlier, the Vice President of Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, had alleged that most fuel products imported into Nigeria are substandard, blaming International Oil Companies (IOCs) of frustrating Dangote’s quest for production.

In the short video, which lasted a little over a minute, Mr. Ahmed debunked theories attached to the functionality of the Dangote Refinery, saying it does not have the capacity to ‘feed’ the nation of its petroleum needs, as it stands. He however, refuted arguments that some elements within the oil and gas sector were trying to scuttle the Dangote Refinery.

A transcript of the NMDPRA’s boss short response is as follows:

“It about concerns of supply of petroleum products acros the nationwide, and the claim that we are trying to scuttle Dangote. That is not so. Dangote Refinery is still in the pre-commissioning stage. It has not been licenced yet. We haven’t licenced them yet. I think they are about 45 per cent completed, or completion rather.

“We cannot rely on one refinery to feed the nation, because Dangote is requesting that we suspend or stop imports, especially of AGO and DPK, and direct all marketers to his refinery. That is not good for the nation in terms of energy security, and it is not good for the market because of the monopoly.

“Dangote Refinery, as well as some modular refineries like Watersmith Refinery and Aradel Refinery, are producing between 650 and 1,200 PPM. Therefore, in terms of quality, their products are inferior to imported ones,” he stated.

It will be recalled that only last Sunday, the President, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, while hosting senior journalists from across various media concerns, revealed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) owns only 7.2% of stakes in the refinery, and not 20 percent as widely circulated. He also revealed that the refinery is set to begin fuel supply in August 2024.

Many stakeholders and respondents have alleged that there’s no love lost between the government of the day and the Dangote Group, and that explains the hiccup situation surrounding the takeoff the $19 billion refinery.

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JAMB Denies Setting Admission Cut-off Mark, Says No Such Thing

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has denied setting cut-off marks for admissions into higher institutions across the country.

In a statement posted on its official X account on Thursday, the Board dismissed reports that it had set 140 as cut-off marks for universities, and 100 for polytechnics respectively.

“There’s no such thing as ‘cut-off mark’ in admission process to tertiary institutions in Nigeria, what’s obtainable is minimum tolerable score determinable by individual institutions,” it said.

The denial comes just one day after it was widely reported, that the Board had pegged 140 as a cut-off mark for admission into universities, and 100 as the minimum cut-off point mark for admission into polytechnics and colleges of education.

The statement attributed to JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, quoted him as announcing the development in Abuja at the 2024 Policy meeting of the Board.

The meeting had in attendance the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, vice-chancellors, rectors and registrars of higher institutions and other stakeholders.

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We Communicated Our Stand to Dangote, NNPC Reacts to Owning Only 7.2% Stake in Refinery

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has explained why it holds only a 7.2% equity in the $19 billion Dangote Refinery, instead of the widely speculated 20%. 

A statement released on Sunday by Femi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, addressed the company’s recent decision regarding its investment in the Dangote Refinery.  

Soneye said that the decision to reduce their investment was carefully considered and communicated several months ago to Aliko Dangote. 

Dangote mentioned to newsmen on Sunday that NNPC no longer holds a 20% stake in the refinery.  

He explained that this change occurred because NNPCL failed to pay the balance of their share, which was due in June. 

Reacting, NNPC said:  

“NNPC Limited periodically assesses its investment portfolio to ensure alignment with the company’s strategic goals.

“The decision to cap its equity participation at the paid-up sum was made and communicated to Dangote Refinery several months ago,” NNPC said.

Nairametrics

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