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Nigeria refuses to give up on JP Morgan court judgment

The Nigerian government has refused to give up, saying it is studying the judgment of the commercial court of England and Wales, which ruled that there was no evidence of fraud in the OPL 245 transaction.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said this on Wednesday while fielding questions from journalists after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting.

On Tuesday, the Nigerian government lost $1.7 billion in claims against JP Morgan Chase Bank.

But Mohammed said the government’s lawyers would study the ruling and decide whether to appeal or not.

The federal government had sued JP Morgan on the ground of “Quincecare duty”, alleging that the bank “ought to have known” that there was corruption and fraud in the transaction which saw Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd sell its 100 per cent stake in OPL 245 to Shell and ENI for $1.1 billion in 2011.

Nigeria argued that there were enough “red flags” for JP Morgan to have halted the transfers.

In 2021, an Italian court dismissed all corruption charges in the OPL 245 deal, discharging and acquitting all the defendants.

Meanwhile, the council approved the enactment of the Federal Fire and Rescue Service Establishment Act 2022.

Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, disclosed this at the end of the FEC meeting.

According to the minister, upon enactment, the law would replace the old law establishing the fire service, which has been in existence for 60 years.

“The Federal Executive Council today approved the repeal of the 60-year-old Fire Service Act Cap F29, LFN 2004 and in its stead, the council approved the enactment of the Federal Fire and Rescue Service Establishment Act 2022, which is meant to bring into currency the operations and professionalism of the Federal Fire Service as it delivers its services to Nigerians,” he said.

The minister said the council directed Abubakar Malami, Nigeria’s attorney-general and minister of justice, to fine-tune the bill for onward transmission to the national assembly for passage.

“The Attorney General was required to process and present to the National Assembly for review and ultimate passage, and we expect that the law, when eventually passed and approved by the President, will help in improving the capability and capacity of the federal fire service,” he said.

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