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The President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), *Sir Honour Sirawoo* has inaugurated a caretaker Committee for its Lagos State chapter with a charge to conduct election within three months.

The inauguration of a Caretaker Committee follows the vacuum in the leadership of the chapter since 2019 as a result of the failure of the then chairman, *Debo Oshundun* to revalidate his membership after 2018 and refusal to act on appeals, and directives of the Association’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

The failure to revalidate membership in 2018, 2019 and 2020, he stressed, automatically implies that *Debo Oshundun* ceased to be a member of the Association and is thus Statutes-barred from holding any position.

*Sirawoo*, represented by the Vice Presidents of South South, *Bonny Nyong* and, South West, *Seun Ajayi-Obe*, stressed further that the constitution of caretaker followed the due process as enshrined in the Association’s Statutes.

*Article 22 (h)* of the Statute speaks of power to constitute Caretaker Committee being given to the NEC, should the leadership of any state chapter detach itself from the national body.
The SWAN Statutes also stipulates that an individual shall lose membership, following failure to renew it through a yearly registration, after the first 90 days in each year.

*Sirawoo* who supervised *Oshundun’s* election in 2017 stated that SWAN in Lagos had always been progressive minded and one of the best in the country, but was quick to add that such standard was lowered by the last exco.

“Lagos Chapter has produced great leaders for SWAN besides being the cradle of Sports Journalism; as a President, i saw Lagos as a flagship, the center set the pace; today nobody is talking about the Lagos SWAN estate, the Co-operative Welfare Structure is gone.

“The administrative secretary that has served the Chapter for years before 2018 was asked to go home without salary for several months, the Lagos SWAN Secretariat that used to be a beehive of activities is now a shadow of itself; no responsible leadership can fold its arms to such failure” he stated.

He then charged the newly sworn-in leaders to work hard and ensure that proper template is set for Lagos SWAN to reclaim its glory as a strong and vibrant state chapter.

The SWAN President, who commended the Lagos State governor for donating a Hiace Air-conditioned Bus to the chapter, thanked operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigeria Police for their presence at the instance of the Association.

He urged the Caretaker Committee members headed by *Aaron Akerejola* of Arise TV, with a statutory mandate to administer the Association for a period of three months and organise election that would usher in new executive to identify and retrieve the Association property for use by the chapter.

In his acceptance speech, the Chairman, *Aaron Akerejola* assured that the committee will meet with critical stakeholders with the view of coming up with ways of restoring the lost glory of Lagos SWAN.

He noted that the Lagos State chapter of SWAN is not and can’t be independent of the National Secretariat of SWAN and commended the National President, *Sir Honour Sirawoo* for given the Association a corporate image.

The inauguration, witnessed by a large number of card carrying members of SWAN in Lagos, took place at the Association secretariat, inside the National Stadium, Surulere.

 

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Police launch manhunt for Sterling Bank staff for Stealing customers’ N300m

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The Delta State Police Command on Sunday says it has begun search for a female staff of Sterling Bank in Effurun Branch, Delta State for allegedly disappearing with customers’ money to the tune of N300 milion.

 

Police Public Relations Officer in the State, DSP Bright Edafe who confirmed this to our correspondent, said that the suspect, a female staff (name withheld) allegedly defrauded customers of the bank she works in the sum of N300million, adding that the police were seriously looking for her.

 

DSP Bright Edafe said that the female banker was said to have approached some account owners to grant her permission to be using their money for business while she would be giving the customers certain percentage every month, adding that this was not to be as it was discovered last week by one of the customers that the woman stopped coming to work and an attempt to reach her on phone was unsuccessful as her lines were switched off.

 

It was gathered that on getting to her house around Living Faith Church at Water Resources, Effurun where she lived, it was alleged that she had also absconded as one of her colleagues said that the female banker did business with customers’ money with their consent while it backfired when many people she gave money to refused to pay back, a situation that had kept her hiding from the people.

 

Edafe said that the police will do everything possible to arrest her, disclosing that her co-workers denied her whereabouts when the incident happened upon police investigation, adding that there has been palpable tension laced with threats to sack her co-workers who assisted her to ensure that she was allowed to be using the funds when they pleaded with the owners of the money.

 

He also revealed that her husband had been invited for questioning.

 

Kontongs Bello, Police Public Relations Officer, who confirmed this to journalists, said that the suspect is wanted for many cases that bothered on robbery, stealing among others, adding that the police will do everything possible to smoke him from his hideout.

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Oriental Energy in 4m Dollar Debt Mess

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The Federal high court sitting in Lagos, south west Nigeria has adjourned till 28 of September,2022, when hearing will commence in a case of debt recovery of USD4,143,856.70 filed against Oriental Energy Resources Company by Borr International Operation drilling company,being an alleged outstanding approved and unpaid invoices for the drilling services rendered in accordance with Contract for the provision of Jack-Up Drilling Unit and Drilling Rig Services rendered in the Defendant’s Ebok Field in OML 67.

 

 

The drilling company in a suit filed by its lawyer, Barrister,Gabriel Uduafi is also praying the court for interest on US$ 4,143,856.70 million based on the current London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), one month interest rate increased by 5 percent and calculated pro data on a daily basis from 6th October, 2021, till the date of liquidation of the judgement debt.

 

In its statement of claim, the Plaintiff stated that by the relevant provisions of the contract, the Drilling Operations, which the Plaintiff was engaged to carry out was required to be done within the Firm Term of 120 days.

 

It stated that going by the relevant provisions of the Contract, there was no fixed-or set target that the Plaintiff was obligated to achieve, as the Contract was not a turnkey but a day rate’ contract; and to this effect, Clauses and Schedule of the Contract explicitly set out the various rates to include Operating Rate, Standby Rate, Repair Rate, . Force Majeure Rate, Redrill Rate, Moving Rate and Zero Kate.

 

The plaintiff stated that the Lump Sum payments under the contract are the Mobilization cost of $450,000 and the

Demobilization cost of $250,000, a sum Which become due and payable upon the completion of the contract.

 

However,following the default in making payment as stipulated under the Contract, the plaintiff wrote to the Defendant both by mail and letters, demanding for the payment of the outstanding and approved invoices and that the Defendant wrote replies raising issues and points that are completely alien to the Contract as its reason for not making the payment.

 

The Plaintiff contended that in setting up a completely ridiculous claim, the Defendant claimed spread cost for nonproductive time (NPT) in the total sum of US$3,437,500.00 where there is no provision in the Contract to support such claim.

 

The Plaintiff added that following series of engagement , it was compelled to instruct its lawyers to issue a demand for the payment of the invoices, and by a letter dated 19th January, 2022 the Plaintiffs Solicitors delivered a formal demand for the payment of some of the outstanding invoices in the sum of US$2,533,749.12 net of taxes.

 

Rather than simply honour its payment obligation under the Contract and credit the Plaintiff with the value of the invoices, the Defendant caused its Solicitors to reply the Plaintiff’s formal demand by the letter dated 26th January, 2022 by which the Defendant now seeks to claim the sum of $10,511,754.00 as spread cost for non-productive time (NPT) and consequential loss, as against the sum of US$3,437,500.00 initially set up by the Defendant in its earlier engagement with the Plaintiff.

 

The plaintiff added that in accordance with the provisions of the Contract, the same came to completion on 10th October, 2021 when the Plaintiff’s Drilling Unit left the Defendant’s Ebok Field OML 67.

 

Plaintiff avers that by the Completion Date, the lump sum Demobilization Rate of US$250,000 became due and payable.

The reasons given by the Defendant in refusing to honour its payment obligation under the Contract are flimsy, frivolous, vexatious and ultra vires, the provisions of the Contract between the Parties, and having approved the invoices, the defendant is obligated to make the payment within the stipulated 30 days under the Contract.

Consequently,excuses given by the Defendant in failing to honour its contractual obligations to the Plaintiff are simply provocative, as same are not supported or derived from the Contract.

The Plaintiff is being denied of the payment due to it in respect of the services rendered to the Defendant

as a result of which the Defendant is indebted to the Plaintiff to the tune of US$4,143,856.70 as stipulated under Clause 11.2 of the Contract.

It will be in the interest of justice to grant all the reliefs claimed in this suit adding that except the Court intervenes and grant the reliefs sought, the Defendant will continue to default in the payment of the invoices which have been duly approved for payment by the Plaintiff.

In its defence, Oriental Energy Resources Limited stated that the company is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the manner alleged in it’s claim or in any manner whatsoever as the invoices upon which the alleged debt purportedly arose are disputed by the defendant.

 

The Defendant stated that the Plaintiff misled it into agreeing to the mobilisation of the drilling rig to commence the contract, by fraudulently misrepresenting to the Defendant that its drilling rig, Borr Natt, was suitable for the Defendant’s Drilling Programme.

 

In an affidavit deposed to by Abraham Faga, a Well Engineering Manager in the Defendant company, he stated that the Defendant is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the way and manner alleged in its claim or in any way and manner whatsoever as the Defendant is disputing the invoices upon which the purported debt arose.

 

He averred that without the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentations, the Defendant would never have commenced the contract and approved mobilisation of the drilling unit, hence the issue of Plaintiff’s invoices which were issued within the contract would never have arisen.

 

He added that the Defendant would, be claiming for a refund of all payments it has so far made to the Plaintiff as the payments were fraudulently obtained.

 

He claimed that due to the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentation, the purported execution of the contract was completely appalling with non-productive time of over 25 days attributed to rig related repairs which is unprecedented in the industry for drilling operations.

 

He stated that the Plaintiff hastily commenced this suit under undefended list to mislead the court into believing that the Defendant has no defence to its claims.

 

The deponent further stated that Justice will be better served if the Defendant is allowed to defend the suit.

 

He urged the court to transfer the suit to Ordinary Cause List for a complete and holistic determination of all issues in controversy.

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