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Innoson Decries Smear Campaign Against Firm

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Innoson
  • Innoson Decries Smear Campaign Against Firm

Innoson Group, Nigeria’s foremost indigenous motor manufacturing company has raised the alarm over what it described as sponsored and calculated smear campaign against it and its Executive Chairman, Dr Innocent Chukwuma, by some unscrupulous interest group.

In a statement signed by Mr. Cornel Osigwe, Public Relations and Media Manager of Innoson Group, the company said that contrary to report sponsored in the media to bring the name of the company and its promoter into disrepute, no new case was filed against it by the current Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

Citing a letter dated February 17, 2016, the firm stated that the police had filed a notice of withdrawal of the case since February when the police got the full details of the matter, which is a business matter between Innoson Nigeria Limited and Guaranty Trust Bank.

In the statement which reads in part, the company said: “We are constrained to respond to fictitious news published recently by some news media channels purporting that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, filed four counts of alleged N2.4bn shipping fraud against Innoson Nigeria Limited before a Federal High Court in Lagos.”

The company said it decided to respond to the malicious publication because it was aimed at maligning the reputation of Dr Chukwuma on the same period he was playing host to his strategic Chinese business partners with whom he visited Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.

The Nation reliably gathered that at issue is that GTB had imposed excess and unlawful charges running into billions of naira on Innoson Nig Ltd’s current account with it just as it alleged that the bank fraudulently appropriated these billions of naira from Innoson’s account.

As a result, Innoson commenced suit No: FHC/AWK/CS/139/2012 against GTB and therein got judgment in excess of N4.7billion against GTB. GTB appealed against the judgment to the Court of Appeal, vide, Appeal No: CA/E/288/2013. There, the Court of Appeal ordered GTB to pay over N6billion, being the judgment with the accrued interest.

Separately, in another case, suit No: FHC/L/CS/603/2006, the Federal High Court ordered GTB to pay over N2.4billion to Innoson. GTB appealed against this judgment/order in Appeal No: CA/I/258/2011. However, Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and ordered GTB to pay the N2.4billion to Innoson.

Finding no justifiable way of getting Innoson to abandon the aforesaid judgments, which as at today is over N10billion, given the post-judgment interest, or to let it pay a lesser sum to Innoson, GTB instigated the Police to initiate a trumped-up charge – Charge No: FHC/L/565c/2015 against Innoson Nig Ltd. This charge was filed on 21st December 2015. However, when the Inspector General of Police discovered that the charge was a trumped-up one – a ruse – he withdrew the charge through its Notice of Withdrawal dated 17th February 2016 and adequately filed in the court (a copy of the notice of withdrawal is attached herewith).

Subsequently, the Inspector General of Police urged the Court to strike out the charge, but for some strange reasons the court adjourned the matter rather than strike it out. After this but before the next adjourned date, Mr. Diri – the former Director of Public Prosecution, Federal Republic of Nigeria – wrote a letter claiming that the Attorney General of the Federation had taken over the case.

The said letter which was back-dated was never initialled by the Registrar or any officer of the Court nor filed at the Court’s Registry as required by law and practice was rather smuggled into the case file. This letter, coupled with other activities of Mr. Diri, led to his being relieved of his post as the Director of Public Prosecution.

“As it is now, the Inspector General of Police, whether former or present, has not filed any new charge against Innoson Nigeria Ltd and its managing director and Mr. J. I. Ajakaye who apparently is acting without any authority is not a Police Officer. The matter came up on Monday, 24th October, 2016 for the presiding judge to excuse himself from presiding over the charge and for same to be struck out having been withdrawn. Mr. Ajakaye never and did not serve any charge on the counsel representing the defendants in the matter. A charge is an originating process and can only be served on a defendant and not his lawyer. Again, Innoson’s lawyers do not have its instructions to accept any originating process including a charge on its behalf.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Posts 2% Gain for the Week Despite India Virus Surge

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Oil prices steadied on Friday and were set for a weekly gain against the backdrop of optimism over a global economic recovery, though the COVID-19 crisis in India capped prices.

Brent crude futures settled 0.28% higher at $68.28 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude advanced 0.29% to $64.90 per barrel.

Both Brent and WTI are on track for second consecutive weekly gains as easing restrictions on movement in the United States and Europe, recovering factory operations and coronavirus vaccinations pave the way for a revival in fuel demand.

In China, data showed export growth accelerated unexpectedly in April while a private survey pointed to strong expansion in service sector activity.

However, crude imports by the world’s biggest buyer fell 0.2% in April from a year earlier to 40.36 million tonnes, or 9.82 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest since December.

In the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, jobless claims have dropped, signalling the labour market recovery has entered a new phase as the economy recovers.

The recovery in oil demand, however, has been uneven as surging COVID-19 cases in India reduce fuel consumption in the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer.

“Brent came within a whisker of breaking past $70 a barrel this week but failed at the final hurdle as demand uncertainty dragged on prices,” said Stephen Brennock at oil brokerage PVM.

The resurgence of COVID-19 in countries such as India, Japan and Thailand is hindering gasoline demand recovery, energy consultancy FGE said in a client note, though some of the lost demand has been offset by countries such as China, where recent Labour Day holiday travel surpassed 2019 levels.

“Gasoline demand in the U.S. and parts of Europe is faring relatively well,” FGE said.

“Further out, we could see demand pick up as lockdowns are eased and pent-up demand is released during the summer driving season.”

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Commodities

Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange to Commence Gold Trading

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With the admission of Dukia Gold’s diversified financial instruments backed by gold as the underlying asset, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is set to commence gold trading.

According to Dukia Gold, the instruments will be in form of exchange-traded notes, commercial papers and other gold-backed securities, adding that it will enable the company to deepen the commodities market in Nigeria, increase capacity, generate foreign exchange for the Nigerian government to better diversify foreign reserves and create jobs across the metal production value chain.

Tunde Fagbemi, the Chairman, Dukia Gold, disclosed this while addressing journalists at Pre-Listing Media Interactive Session in Lagos on Thursday.

He said, “We are proud to be the first gold company whose products would be listed on the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange. The listing shall enable us facilitate our infrastructure development, expand capacity and create fungible products.

“This has potential to shore up Nigeria’s foreign reserve and create an alternative window for preservation of pension funds. A gold-backed security is a hedge against inflation and convenient preservation of capital.”

“As a global player, we comply with the practices and procedures of London Bullion Market Association and many other international bodies. Our refinery will also have multiplier effects on the development of rural areas anywhere it is located,” he added.

Mr Olusegun Akanji, the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, Heritage Bank, said the lender had created a buying centre for verification of quality and quantity of gold and reference price to ensure price discovery in line with the global standard.

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Crude Oil

Oil Nears $70 as Easing Western Lockdowns Boost Summer Demand Outlook

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Crude oil

Oil prices rose for a third day on Wednesday as easing of lockdowns in the United States and parts of Europe heralded a boost in fuel demand in summer season and offset concerns about the rise of COVID-19 infections in India and Japan.

Brent crude rose 93 cents, or 1.4%, to $69.81 a barrel at 1008 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 85 cents, or 1.3%, to $66.54 a barrel.

Both contracts hit the highest level since mid-March in intra-day trade.

“A return to $70 oil is edging closer to becoming reality,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

“The jump in oil prices came amid expectations of strong demand as western economies reopen. Indeed, anticipation of a pick-up in fuel and energy usage in the United States and Europe over the summer months is running high,” he said.

Crude prices were also supported by a large fall in U.S. inventories.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group reported crude stockpiles fell by 7.7 million barrels in the week ended April 30, according to two market sources. That was more than triple the drawdown expected by analysts polled by Reuters. Gasoline stockpiles fell by 5.3 million barrels.

Traders are awaiting data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday to see if official data shows such a large fall.

“If confirmed by the EIA, that would mark the largest weekly fall in the official data since late January,” Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.

The rise in oil prices to nearly two-month highs has been supported by COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in the United States and Europe.

Euro zone business activity accelerated last month as the bloc’s dominant services industry shrugged off renewed lockdowns and returned to growth.

“The partial lifting of mobility restrictions, the expectation that tourism will return in the near future, and the lure of the psychologically important $70 mark are all likely to have contributed to the price rise,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

This has offset a drop in fuel demand in India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, which is battling a surge in COVID-19 infections.

“However, if we were to eventually see a national lockdown imposed, this would likely hit sentiment,” ING Economics analysts said of the situation in India.

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