The Federal Government could end up paying $500million to an electricity transmission company for allegedly defaulting on a $200million settlement agreement it entered into with the firm.
The Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (SPTCL) is seeking to be paid $500million after government allegedly failed to pay the $200million compensation it offered following the termination of the contract to construct Mambilla hydropower project located in Taraba State.
The settlement was meant to make Sunrise relinquish all claims to the $5.8billion project, which has been grounded for 14 years, and was originally to generate 3,050 megawatts but later reviewed, to 1,525 megawatts.
Government has since re-awarded the same contract to a Chinese firm with Sunrise claiming that the development did not follow due process.
It subsequently approached the International Court of Arbitration in Paris, France for redress, reminiscent of the legal battle between the Federal Government and the Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID).
In documents now in the public space, the Federal Government, represented by Power Minister, Sale Mamman, and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had committed the government to pay the $200million penalty in addition to the original terms of settlement, while Chairman of Sunrise, Leno Adesanya, and Legal Counsel, Jeremie Chouraqui, signed for the company.
Both sides, under the settlement agreement of January 21, 2020, had mutually “resolved that the FGN shall pay Sunrise the net sum of $200million in irrevocable and immediately available funds to Sunrise’s designated bank accounts which shall be stated in the invoice to be submitted by Sunrise within the stipulated time frame.”
The agreement stipulated that the sum of $200million “shall be paid in one or two tranches within 150 calendar days (five months) from the date of execution of this addendum, as follows: first $100million within 30 calendar days of execution of the agreement. The remaining balance of $100million shall be paid within 90 calendar days (three months) of the first payment. The second tranche of the payment under item c (ii) shall have a grace period of 30 calendar days (one month).”
The parties also agreed that in the event of the Federal Government failing to meet its payment obligations contained in the terms of payment, Sunrise would be entitled to a financial default sanction in the sum of $200million, in addition to the unpaid principal sum of $200million.
“This is in addition to the interest on any unpaid sum (including of any financial default sanctions) at a compound daily interest rate of 10 per cent, per annum, until the full payment is received by Sunrise in irrevocable and immediately available funds, in its designated bank accounts.
“Such full receipt by Sunrise shall discharge the FGN from any further extraneous liability to Sunrise in respect of the settlement agreement and this addendum and Sunrise shall then have no further recourse to the Mambilla project.”
Having missed out on all payment deadlines, including the first payment of $100million, which should have been done over a year ago, the arbitration in Paris may decide the direction the matter will sway.
With the reinstatement of the penalties and the $400million already accruable, the indebtedness may have hit $600million, and would rise to $700million if the 10 per cent per annum interest rate agreed to by parties in the settlement agreement is calculated.
Further communication between Malami and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, indicated that Malami updated the CoS on the issue to guide the government’s decision on the matter.
Also, Mamman, in a memo dated August 19, 2020, and addressed to Gambari, said, “The Ministry of Power is in total support of the position provided by the AGF who has been the lead in finding an amicable out-of-court settlement to the dispute.
“The ultimate aim of the ministry is to see that Mambilla project implementation can proceed unencumbered, therefore, whichever settlement option that can lead to a peaceful resolution for the project to commence will be acceptable by the ministry.”
‘139 Clerics, Worshippers Killed, 394 Kidnapped In 18 Months’
The media reports also revealed that at least 394 religious faithful were kidnapped during the period under review.
A breakdown of the incidents showed that 53 Islamic clerics and worshipers were killed and 165 abducted while 229 Christians were kidnapped and 86 were murdered.
The prominent attacks include the killing of a Catholic priest and three parishioners in Benue on March 30, 2021.
On April 13, a pastor was killed in an Abuja Church, while bandits reportedly murdered one person and abducted four others during an attack on a Church on April 25.
Gunmen also kidnapped eight members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God In Kaduna on March 26.
Also, suspected bandits kidnapped 50 Muslims on a Maulud procession in Katsina on March 11.
On May 10, gunmen stormed a Katsina Mosque and reportedly abducted 40 worshipers. In September, one person was killed and three parishioners were abducted from a Church in Kogi.
Furthermore, armed hoodlums also reportedly shot 17 people dead and abducted 18 others from a Mosque in Niger State on October 25.
Similarly, bandits were said to have attacked a mosque in Kaduna where they abducted 24 persons on March 10, 2022, while a police inspector and two others were kidnapped from an Ogun Mosque on April 3.
On June 4, armed herdsmen struck Abia, abducted a pastor and his wife and also stabbed another person while 40 persons were reportedly killed during the attack on St Xavier Francis Catholic Church Owo, Ondo state, on June 6.
Also, on June 19, gunmen were said to have attacked Catholic and Baptist churches, killed four and abducted 44, while 21 Muslim pilgrims were abducted in Sokoto on June 22.
In the latest attacks, gunmen abducted two Catholic priests in Edo on July 3 while on July 4, suspected bandits kidnapped another Catholic priest in Kaduna.
The Chief Missioner of Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society, Onike Abdul-Azeez, urged the government to protect worship centres and also advised the religious faithful to be responsible for their security by deploying security cameras, metal detectors and other security measures.
A former Imam, Apo legislative mosque, Abuja, Sheikh Nuru Khalid said the attacks on the worship centres were a pointer that nowhere was safe in the country.
“According to the scriptures, people who run from war saw worship centres as a place of refuge. If Nigeria now have the various places of worship being attacked, then we are all in danger”, said.
In his reaction, the Christian Association of Nigeria spokesman, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, stated, “The church is helpless, and only praying to God that whoever succeeds President Buhari will not continue what he is doing and that is the more reason why we are against the Muslim-Muslim ticket”.
15m Nigerians Are Into Drugs -NDLEA …Secures 984 Convictions In Six Months
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd), revealed this while receiving the newly elected executives of the Adamawa State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) at his residence in Yola, on Monday.
Marwa lamented that the Nigerian nation still has a good percentage of its population depending on hard drugs.
He said the agency had secured 984 convictions on drug related offences since January this year.
The NDLEA boss said President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) to reinvigorate the fight against hard drugs.
According to him, more rehabilitation centres are on the way across the nation.
He advocated collective efforts with the media playing a vital part in safeguarding the nation against hard drugs.
Marwa congratulated his visitors over their victory at the recent NUJ council election and charged them to champion the fight against drug abuse.
Speaking earlier, the state Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Ishaka Dedan, pledged the union’s cooperation towards enlightening the public on the scourge of hard drugs.
Owo Massacre: Akeredolu Faults FG, Backs Matawalle On Self Defence
Akeredolu also backed the call by Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State for residents to arm and defend themselves against terrorists.
The governor made the remarks while speaking on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, on Monday.
Responding to a question on the reported arrest of the Owo attackers, Akeredolu said, “We are still on the track of the perpetrators and we are yet to make a serious headway and that is for many reasons.
“These people usually disappear into our forests and from there migrate to other states”.
The governor, while criticising the centralised police system in the country, stated that the Nigeria Police Force cannot effectively secure the country.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, had on June 9, 2022, disclosed that ISWAP masterminded the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, which claimed 40 lives.
Akeredolu added that the vehicle and mobile gadgets suspected to have been used by the terrorists had been handed over to the Department of State Services for forensic analysis.
Akeredolu asked the people of the state to fight back when attacked.
He said, “We have called on our traditional rulers that we must all be ready to rise up to defend our land and defend our people. What I really mean by that is that, you can’t fold your hands and say people (attackers) are coming and you are running away.
“No. If they bring a fight to you, fight them back. There is no room to run away from it. That was why when I heard my brother in Zamfara, who said people should carry arms and license people to carry arms, it might be to some a bit of extreme measure, but when you are pushed to the wall, there is nothing else you can say.
“So, what we have learnt is that our people cannot afford to stay back or lay back as if you are lazy people. We are not lazy; we are indomitable people in spirit and everything and nobody can dominate us. So, when we believe that and strongly act that, fight these people back. If they come, push them (back) inside the forest and leave. Whosoever has the higher (sic) arm will survive”.
On the claim by the Federal Government that the attack was carried out by ISWAP, Akeredolu said, “We are not people who will buy the idea that it is ISWAP or bandits or terrorists or Fulani herdsmen. We have been facing, at least in Ondo State, terrorism from the three, whether they are bandits or Fulani herdsmen or ISWAP; they work together. I don’t know how you want to separate them, except you have concrete evidence.
“Our contention is that ISWAP, most times, if not all the time, take responsibility for their actions. So, when they do things, they say ‘we have done it.’ They take pride in this heinous crime. So, I expect that if ISWAP had done this, all this while, they would have come up and own up (to it). But some of us have our fears that it cannot be ISWAP and we do not agree with that position because the security agencies were just too quick”.
The Ondo governor noted that the Owo attack was about one month ago and the people had learnt to take security more seriously, which led to his order on security guards and installation of Closed Circuit Television cameras in public places.
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