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Mambila Power Project: Sunrise Floors FG, as ICC Orders Arbitration to Proceed



The International Court of Arbitration administered by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris, France has affirmed the legal and beneficial ownership of Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (SPTCL) in the $5.8 billion Mambilla hydro-electric power project.

Sunrise and its Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Leno Adesanya had been involved in a running legal battle with the Federal Government of Nigeria over the unlawful termination of the contract which was signed on May 22, 2003, but re-awarded to a Chinese firm, Messrs China Gezhouba Group Corporation/China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGGC/CGC).

Specifically, Sunrise launched a series of judicial counters to the termination of the contract on May 28, 2007, culminating in a 14-year delay, with the new awardee effectively barred from commencing the execution of the contract.

According to the background of the matter, after Sunrise’s withdrawal from its $500 million Settlement Agreement arbitration at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris in September 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) legal team led by Mr. Supo Shasore SAN, and the foreign firm of White and Case decided to invite Sunrise back to the ICC by claiming $1.6 million in legal fees because Sunrise withdrew the $500 million suit.

Contrary to all the allegations made by the FGN lawyers, the ICC in Paris France on the 13th of October 2022 ruled against all objections of the FGN, and called for the expedited arbitration procedure to be adopted in the $500 million settlement agreements arbitration to commence immediately.

After an international tender process in early 2003, the FGN awarded a $6 billion Build, Operate and Transfer) BOT contract to Sunrise Power and Transmission Co. Limited and it’s Chinese consortium partners on May 22nd, 2003.

Sunrise consortium had secured $5.5 billion in Chinese Eximbank loans in 2005, while the FGN, on the 28th of May 2007, signed a $1.46b civil works contract with the Chinese firm, Messrs China Gezhouba Group Corporation/China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGGC/CGC), in clear violation of Sunrise’s BOT contract.

In November 2007, Sunrise filed a petition to then President Umaru Musa YarAdua, and the $1.46b EPC contract was terminated in 2009.

On the 23rd of November 2012, FGN signed a General Project Execution Agreement (GOEA) with Sunrise and its Chinese consortium partners for the execution of the Mambilla hydropower project. However, on the 12th of November 2017, the FGN signed a $5.8 billion EPC contract with another Chinese Consortium despite numerous written warnings from the current attorney general of the federation to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in 2016 and 2017 to respect the GPEA contract with Sunrise.

Sunrise resorted to arbitration against FGN and Sinohydro consortium of China in 2018, claiming $2.3 billion in damages.

With the intervention of the Chinese President, who sent a special envoy to President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2019, FGN and Sunrise signed a settlement agreement in January 2020; and this settlement was advised to both the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria , and Chairman of China Eximbank, who had made the settlement condition precedent to any loans for the Project. However, the FGN defaulted.

Sunrise in September 2021 withdrew the $500m settlement arbitration on condition that FGN makes a financial commitment towards the Project, and respects its right as the exclusive local content partner, but the FGN failed again to make any payments to the EPC contractors and/or the Counterpart funds to China Eximbank.

While the FGN has been unable to defend its failure to honor its agreements to Sunrise, however, the government requested that the ICC should direct “that Sunrise produce certain information showing its true legal and beneficial ownership.”

The request, according to the government, was based on the allegation that there exist Pandora papers suggesting that Mr. Leno Adesanya secretly transferred an interest in Sunrise to the family of Nigeria’s former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki.

This claim was vehemently objected to by the Claimant (Sunrise).

In a decision dated October 13, 2022, the ICC said there were no “sufficient sensitive elements” adduced by the Federal Government of Nigeria to prevent the matter from proceeding.

According to the decision, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, the ICC said: “We have duly noted all elements mentioned in the claimant’s and respondent’s request pertaining to fraud and corruption allegations.

“In this respect, the secretariat is monitoring this matter closely together with ICC’s Legal Services Department which has conducted internal compliance verifications but has not found sufficient sensitive elements to prevent this arbitration from being administered by the ICC.”

The ICC said the decision does not constitute a legal opinion and that it may further be subjected to change in case of new elements.

“The ICC endeavors to comply with relevant and applicable compliance rules and regulations at all times and will monitor this matter with the utmost vigilance.

“Should any corruption or related claims need to be addressed in relation to the present dispute or its underlying contract, we invite the parties to communicate all relevant documentation and supporting materials directly to the arbitral tribunal, once constituted,” the ICC said.

The 3,050 MW Mambilla Power Project is the largest Power plant in Nigeria and it is the flagship power generation project of the Muhammadu Buhari government.

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Emefiele Yet to Meet Bail Conditions, May Stay in Prison Till 2024




A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, has adjourned an alleged procurement fraud case involving a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

The court adjourned the trial of the former apex bank chief to January 18 and 19, 2024 for continuation of trial.

Emefiele is standing trial on a six count amended charge on alleged procurement of vehicles to the tune of N1.6billion.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was granted bail on November 17, 2023 to the tune of N300million and two sureties, but remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre, pending when he meets his bail conditions.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecution witness, who is a top official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) told the court that the Emefiele is not the owner or a shareholder of the April1616 Investment Limited awarded N1.2 billion vehicle supply contract by CBN under his watch.

He was led in evidence by counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo , while tendering several documents on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016.

He further read out the names of the shareholders of the company as Aminu Yaro, Maryam Abdullahi and Saadatu Yaro as joint owners of the entity.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa, who declined to speak on camera, said Emefiele is yet to meet his bail conditions.

Counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal government declined to speak on the day’s proceedings.

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One Year in Office: Adeleke Gives Scorecard, Pledges Continuous Democracy Dividends




By Eric Elezuo

The Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, has felicitated with the people of Osun State as his administration marks one in office.

In the statement he personally signed, the governor informed that the last one year has been characterized by reconstruction and reconfiguration of various of the state’s economy, adding that the administration has been able to navigate through “numerous land mines deliberately set by the past administration to frustrate our administration” to provide appropriate leadership and benefits for the people of Osun state.

Adeleke further intimated that he is on a working visit to Europe and Asia, where he hope to attract investment opportunities foe the state.

The governor highlighted stability of the civil service, improved intercity road networks, surgical and medical outreaches as well as the #Imole100BInfrastructure as some of the laudable achievements of his administration in the last one year.

Below is the detailed statement:

It is one year ago today since our administration came into office. It has been a year of reconstruction and reconfiguration across the various sectors of the osun economy.

Due to the current economic situation in the state and our country in general, I have directed that this anniversary be conducted in a low key atmosphere. I remain committed to prudent use of our scarce resources on more pressing issues.

I am currently on a working vacation to Europe and Asia where I am advancing partnership discussion with potential investors needed to improve our state economy.

It is important to recognize the enormous challenges and obstacles we have overcome and the progress we have made thus far. Despite the numerous land mines deliberately set by the past administration to frustrate our administration, we have developed a robust mechanism to successfully navigate and overcome these challenges.

We have stabilized the state civil service with continuous commitment to the welfare of the state civil servants and pensioners, this we will continue to focus on in fulfillment of a critical part of our 5 point agenda.

We have massively improved intracity road network across the state by constructing over 90KM of roads, completion of the Phase II of Òṣogbo-Ikirun road and ongoing construction of Osun ring road (Ona Baba Ona) both abandoned by the past administration.

We have embarked on surgical and medical outreach that benefited over 50,000 vulnerable citizens. Also, we have completely rehabilitated over 31 schools across the state.

Recently, I launched the #Imole100BInfrastructure that focuses on education, health, road construction and water. These are critical sectors that we have identified to urgently revamp for the sustainability and development of the state economy.

I am happy to share that as we move forward, the positive results of our collaborative efforts for the past one year are expected to bear fruit. With projected increase in our internally generated revenue and prudent application of public funds, our infrastructure plan will be fully funded without seeking external loan.

Today, I re-affirm my commitment to serving with the fear of God and focused on delivering on my 5 point agenda as promised during the campaign season.

I thank you for your continuous support and prayer as you continue to support our efforts to develop our dear state.

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Behold! The Akinrogun of Gbonganland




By Eric Elezuo

The atmosphere was surreal, the turnout fantastic, the ambience splendid and the environment cozy with flamboyant touches of royalty, magnificent and deep rooted culture. It was the Chieftaincy title conferment of the Akinrogun and Yeye Akinrogun of Gbonganland on prolific journalist, Aare Dele Momodu, and his wife, Mobolaji Momodu, by the paramount ruler of the land, Oba Adetoyese Oyeniyi, Odugbemi I, the Olufi of Gbonganland.

A known and prominent son of the land, the Momodus were chosen for the title for their unwavering support of the community, and unrivaled performance in the society at large at an event that coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Olufi’s coronation.

According to a letter to the effect, the Olufi stated that the honour is in “recognition of your various land mark achievements as a world renowned journalist author, publisher, business man, public affairs commentator, frontline politician to the level of being chosen as a presidential candidate of a strong political party in our presidential elections.

“Another compelling reason is the fact that your own biological mother was a native of Gbongan from the famous Oluoje family. Some of your achievements include but not limited to:

i. Chief Executive Officer and publisher of Ovation International, a magazine that has given publicity to people from all over the world.

ii. Launched Ovation TV in 2015

iii. Launched an online newspaper called the Boss newspapers.

iv. You have received hundreds of awards and honours for your work in the world of business, politics, literature, the music and fashion industry.

v. You write a weekly column called “Pendulum” published every Saturday on the back page of Thisday newspaper.
Aside from the above. you are a cultural man per excellence and a worthy ambassador of the legendary Oduduwa Dynasty and a philanthropist, committed husband and father. WE ARE VERY PROUD OF YOU!!!”

Beautifully decked in expensive blue aso oke attire, the couple were accompanied by a retinue of well wishers, family members, friends and associates, who made the trip from every corner of the world, as they stepped before his royal Majesty for the all important conferment.

Literally interpreted as an accomplished warrior, the Akinrogun title comes in handy and ready-made for the like of Dele Momodu, who has tranversed the universe, courted the high and mighty even without ever holding public office. It is believed that that there’s no influential personality in the world today that Momodu has not made his acquaintance. He is a man of many parts.

Held at the Community playing field, the conferment of chieftaincy title on the Momodus was the cynosure of all eyes in as much as there were other awardees on the day. His larger than life status was proved with the calibre of personalities that turned up for the all important event.

In his appreciation message, Momodu, who spoke in Yoruba, appreciated the Olufi and the people of Gbongan for considering him for the honours. He also extended his appreciation to a former Chancellor of the University of Lagos and son of Gbongan, Professor Wale Babalakin, who paved the way for him to have a smooth celebration.

Earlier, Momodu had visited the graveside of his mother, Mrs Gladys Momodu, where a prayer session was held, and thanksgiving to God for her life. Another stopover was the family house of the Fatoyes, where the patriarch of the family, Osuola Isaac Fatoye, received the entourage, and proclaim blessings on Dele Momodu.

Shortly after the conferment, the party moved in a convoy to the reception ground at Bola Babalakin Estate, decorated in elegant colours and lights by @psquareevents, where other high profile individuals were already waiting in anticipation of the grand celebration.

It was not just one party; it was a gathering of the who is who is Gbonganland, the southwest and Nigeria in general.

Among personalities present were the Deputy governor of Osun, Prince Kola Adewusi, Chairman, Biscon Communications, Prince Bisi Olatilo, Prince Damola Aderemi, Senior Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Lagos Liaison, Mr. Michael Effiong, Mr. Dupe Ashama, Hon. Remi Ojo, Otunba Gbenga Peters, Mr. Adebanjo Adebanjo, Erelu Fadeyi, Mr. Rufai Ladipo, Mr. Wale Babalakin, Mr. Gbenga Olunloyo, Editor, Ovation Magazine, Mr. Eric Elezuo, Publisher, Yes Magazine, Azuh Arinze and a host of others.

The first class event was punctuated at regular intervals by rhythmic sounds from a live band, and sumptuous meals and drinks from @depotterscocktail, @kammisplaceevents, @tripple O finger foods.

Also in place for a well rounded ceremony, which was organised by  @Subtleleganceeventbackup, was @fortuneguard, which provided adequate security in conjunction with @bandbushers, that served as ushering crew.

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