Gbajabiamila, Minority caucus laud Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as WTO Head

I didn’t forge oil cGbajabiamila, Minority caucus laud Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as WTO Headontract, Obasanjo’s in-law tells court February 15, 2021 5:20 pm by eniola.ayoola ContractB ByMoji Eniola Ikeja, Feb. 15, 2021 (NAN) John Abebe, a businessman and brother-in-law of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, before an Ikeja Special Offences Court, denied forging parts of an oil contract. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an oil company, Statoil Nig. Ltd. had on June 22, 2010, accused the brother of the late former First Lady, Mrs Stella Obasanjo, of forgery. Statoil Nig. Ltd. alleges that the defendant forged parts of a Net Profit Interest Agreement (NPIA) dated Nov. 30, 1995, which was drafted by British Petroleum (BP). Abebe who was arraigned on July 26, 2018, faces a four-count charge of forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice. The charge was brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Led in evidence by defence counsel, Mr Edoka Onyeke, Abebe who is the Managing Director of Inducon Nig. Ltd. and Osborne Chemicals Ltd., told the court the agreement was not forgery as alleged by Statoil. “In 1995, there was a lot of talk in the oil industry about Statoil wanting to sell their assets and leave the country. ” I was approached by BP in the United Kingdom and a meeting was called and held in their London office in which this particular issue was discussed between myself and BP in the UK. “At the end of the day, an agreement was signed between BP and my company, Osborne Chemicals, to work together and buy potential stakes of Statoil assets in Nigeria. “It is notable that the agreement is still very much alive and both companies have not cancelled that agreement. “It was a whole five years after, that Statoil started accusing me of forging a BP document. If indeed such existed, I do not believe BP would have touched me with a one-mile-long pole,” Abebe said. The defendant disputed the October 2018 testimony of Ms Joanne Cross, a staff of BP Petroleum, who said that the document was forged. Abebe told the court that Cross did not take part in any of the discussions between his company and BP because she was not a BP employee when the agreement was drafted. ” I did not know who she was and I was meeting her in court for the first time after almost 30 years of my relationship with BP. “I do not agree with her at all because two documents were signed on the same day.. “The second document that was signed was a three-line explanation of what was already assumed in the first document which was signed. “When I was invited by the EFCC, I made two statements, the first was rather lengthy and the second one was short. ” The second statement addressed the issue of forgery which is that there was no forgery and that has consistently been my story,” Abebe said. Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until Feb. 16 for continuation of trial. (NAN) MAE/IGO ======== Edited by Ijeoma Popoola
Gbajabiamila

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has congratulated Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her emergence as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Gbajabiamila, in a statement by Lanre Lasisi, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, on Monday in Abuja, said that Okonjo-Iweala’s track record speaks volumes.

Similarly, Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives through Rep. Ndudi Elumelu, the House Minority Leader,
congratulated the former Minister of Finance for her successful emergence as WTO director-general in spite of all hurdles.

Gbajabiamila said Okonjo-Iweala’s unanimous confirmation by the General Council of the WTO to head the body was “a testament to her years of experience in the financial sector, both at home and abroad”.

The speaker said that the former two-time Finance Minister of Nigeria came to office with a wealth of experience that spans several decades, noting that her track records speak volumes.

Okonjo-Iweala is best candidate for WTO head - Katagum
Okonjo-Iweala

He said with Okonjo-Iweala’s pedigree, she would take the World Trade Organisation to enviable heights during her term.

Gbajabiamila said her confirmation had once again proved that Nigeria has experts that could compete favourably, both at home and abroad.

He then called on the new WTO director-general to make Nigeria and Africa proud, while wishing her a successful tenure in office.

In his remarks, Elumelu commended Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as WTO chief officer, adding that her emergence had reinforced global confidence in international consensus.

He said it had also added to the recognition of competence and proficiency over provincial considerations.

“Indeed, the election of Okonjo-Iweala to head the WTO is well-deserving, given her wealth of experience, competence, commitment and track records of performance in global finance and economy,” Elumelu said.

This, according to him, was evidenced in her successes as the Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Managing Director of the World Bank and various other international development bodies.

“We commend the global community for having confidence in Okonjo-Iweala and particularly, the U.S President, His Excellency Joe Biden, for the unwavering support given to her by his administration,” he said.

The minority leader said that the election was clearly in recognition of Okonjo-Iweala’s competence.

Elumelu said that the caucus commended the understanding and spirit of sportsmanship exhibited by the South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, in withdrawing from the race.

He said it was another loud testament to Okonjo-Iweala’s suitability for the task ahead.

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