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Supreme Court Upholds Revocation Of OPLs 321, 323 From KNOC

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria has upheld the revocation of Oil Prospecting Licences (OPLs) 321 and 323 from the Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and subsequent reallocation to ONGC/Owel Petroleum Consortium.

The apex court, in the suit numbered SC114/2013, between President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria & 3 others V. KNOC & 6 others, declared that the action of the president, which was taken in 2009, was within his executive powers.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AbubakarMalami (SAN) represented the Federal Government while Dr Alex Iziyon (SAN) and Chief Robert Clarke (SAN) represented ONGC/Owel Petroleum Consortium and KNOC respectively.

The court in the four-to-one judgment, said the act, which arose from a contractual arrangement between the parties, not being a quasi-judicial act, was therefore not subject to judicial review in respect of which a writ of certiorari lies.

The lead judgment was read by Hon. Justice KudiratMotonmoriOlatokunboKekere-Ekun while Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad gave the minority judgment.

Other justices in the matter were Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Justice AminaAugie and Justice Paul AdamuGalinje.

The Supreme Court noted that the dispute between the parties arose from a contractual relationship and held that, by the letter of award in respect of OPLs 321 and 323 respectively, “in my considered view, constitutes allegations of breach of contract.

“Where there is a contractual obligation between the parties, both parties are expected to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract. Where the contract contains terms for bringing the contract to an end by either party and the terms are not complied with, the remedy of the affected party lies in action for breach of contract, damages, etc.”

Regarding the remedy available to the Koreans in respect of the termination of the award of OPLs 321 and 323, the Supreme Court held that the case of KNOC and its Consortium at the trial court was incompetent as what the act complained of was an executive act in respect of which a writ of certiorari would not lie, having arisen from a purely contractual relationship.

The apex court consequently affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal striking out the appellant’s suit at the trial court.

The Korean firm had gone to court following the decision of the President of Nigeria conveyed in the then Federal Ministry of Energy’s letter, dated January 8, 2009, written by the Minister of State (Energy) and addressed to the Chairman, KNOC, wherein the federal government voided the allocation of OPLs 321 and 323 to KNOC on the basis that KNOC and its consortiums failed to fulfil certain terms and conditions of the award and restored the rights of ONGC/Owel Petroleum Consortium as the original winners of the two blocks in the 2005 bid round.

ONGC/Owel Petroleum Consortium had taken steps to pay the signature bonus in full as stipulated by the letter until the consortium received information that the KNOC had approached the Federal High Court, Abuja sometime in March 2009, to seek redress and an injunction restraining the relevant federal government agencies from giving effect to the content of the January 8, 2009 letter.

Consequently, ONGC/Owel Petroleum Consortium had to hold back the payment of the signature bonus pending the outcome of the case in court, after it had caused a bank guarantee for the full payment of the signature bonus to be issued by the State Bank of India in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Consortium had to recall the bank guarantee when the blocks awarded were withdrawn and re-alloted to KNOC in 2005 on the basis of its prior right of first refusal, due to some non-bid related downstream obligations made by KNOC, which it failed to comply with, in addition to its failure to comply with the terms of the bid.

Source: Leadership

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#EndSARS: Ekiti state government declares 24-hour curfew

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Following the various attacks on #EndSARS protesters in the state, Governor Kayode Fayemi has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state effective from 10pm on today, Tuesday, October 20.

In a statement released by the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, the state government said the curfew became necessary following the state government’s observation of how the end SARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.

Read the statement below

1. The Government of Ekiti State has observed with growing concern how the ENDSARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.

2. The hoodlums have capitalised on the ENDSARS protest to rape, assault, rob and extort innocent citizens across the State. These are in addition to the wanton destruction of properties, particularly private properties.

3. Government is concerned that if this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, it will lead to a breakdown of law and order thereby threatening the wellbeing of the people of Ekiti State.

4. For the purpose of clarity Government continues to show understanding and responsiveness to the demands of the legitimate protesters.

5. On 16th October 2020, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Governor, Ekiti State met with the protesters in person. While identifying with the legitimacy of their protests, he assured them that the State Government will immediately put measures in place to respond to all their demands.

6. Government has since then constituted a Human Rights Investigation Panel to review all cases of abuse by Officers of the disbanded SARS. In addition, Government has enabled a Victims Compensation Fund to facilitate speedy remedial measures for victims of such abuse.

7. Furthermore, several officials of Government have engaged the protesters at multiple fora and platforms including the social media in order to ensure that concerns of protesters are properly identified and responded to in a prompt and efficient manner with necessary feedback.

8. Government had also at various times drawn the attention of the protesters to the troubling hijack of the protests by individuals whose only interest is to inflict violence on the people of the state.

9. In the past 48 hours there have been incidents of gang-rape, robberies, physical assaults on innocent people, looting and burning of a police station. These acts of brigandage are not in consonance with the legitimate aspirations of the protesters. It cannot be logical to seek to remedy impunity with impunity.

10. Government therefore cannot afford to watch a deliberate enthronement of anarchy by some bad elements who have hijacked the protest for some clandestine reasons.

11. Consequently, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, hereby imposes a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State starting from 10.00 pm tonight, Tuesday, October, 20, 2020.

12. Only essential workers and service providers with valid means of identifications are allowed to move around during the period of the curfew.

13. Any person found on the street that does not belong to this category, would be promptly arrested and prosecuted according to the laws of Ekiti State.

14. We seek the understanding of the good people of Ekiti State as we continue to take deliberate steps towards ensuring that peace and normalcy return to our state.”

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Davido speaks on the events of the past 48 hours

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Davido speaks on the events of the past 48 hours

Nigerian superstar, Davido has said criminals are responsible for the attack on two Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State.

Davido made the claim while absolving End SARS protesters of involvement in the attacks.

The singer pointed out that no amount of mischief would stop the protest against police brutality and bad governance.

Davido made the remark while condemning the attack on two Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State.

The hoodlums had attacked the facilities and freed some inmates.

Reacting, the singer in a series of tweets wrote: “After seeing all that’s gone on today I just want to say that from the beginning we have preached that the protest must remain peaceful and Law Abiding and as far as I know we have kept to that! And we will continue to keep to that so the narrative can NOT be switched up on us!

“The people they claim broke into prisons to free convicted criminals, burn police stations to steal weapons, damage police, government, and private vehicles are Criminals and everybody must condemn these acts. They are not part of our movement !

“#EndSars is a peaceful and law abiding protest that is going somewhere great! And no mischief can scatter it!”

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Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari

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Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari

The Nigerian Senate has called on President Buhari to urgently address the nation so as to douse the tension in the country.

This comes as hoodlums continue to carry out various attacks on #EndSARS protesters and others in some parts of the country.

The Senators made the call for President Buhari to speak to the Nation after a motion was moved by Senator Biodun Olujimi and co-sponsored by all Senators on the ongoing nationwide protests believed to have been hijacked by hoodlums.

Part of the resolution of the Senators after deliberation include:

-Urge all tiers of government to put in place and sustain policies of social economic reforms that raise the standard of lives of our people;

-Call upon the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment;

-Urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure a holistic comprehensive reforms of the police to increase the overall welfare including training and medical insurance of all members of the Nigeria Police Force

-Appeal to all Nigerians to resort to use of legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts;

-Urge the Nigerian youths and the Nigerian citizens to approach the National Assembly Committees Constitution and Reforms in order to secure far-reaching holistic amendments that are vital to the restructuring of our federation

-Urge the Federal Government to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters with necessary timelines to rekindle confidence in government

-Appeal to #EndSARS movement and protesters to kindly in the interest of everyone stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue; 7. Urge Mr. President to address the nation as soon as possible on these issues.

-Police should make it a duty to accompany protesters and should be involved in protecting genuine protesters.

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