The Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki’s CCT trial stalled; MTN Nigeria Offers To Settle Row With $1.5bn; President Muhammadu Buhari Redeploys 184 Top Officials Over the 2016 Budget Padding scandal; Nigerian Stock Exchange Market Capitalization Rises By N22bn . . .
Saraki’s CCT trial stalled
The trial of Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki for alleged false declaration of assets at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) failed to hold on Friday as scheduled.
Saraki’s counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, informed the court that he had filed another suit at the court challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
At the resumed hearing of the suit, counsel to the Senate President, Kanu Agabi told the tribunal that he had a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
According to the motion, the Senate President is contending that the Attorney -General of the Federation cannot prosecute him.
Reacting to the information, Counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Rotimi Jacobs told the court that the move was a delay tactic and an attempt to scuttle the trial.
According to him, the accused person knowing fully well that he is the prosecutor did not serve the application on him but instead served the Federal Ministry of Justice clearly indicating that they did not want trial to commence.
Chairman of the tribunal, Judge Danladi Umar, adjourned to March 18, 2016, to hear the motion and also commence with the trial.
The CCT asked the defence lawyer to serve all the relevant processes to the prosecution before March 18, 2016.
MTN Offers To Settle Row With $1.5bn
The South African telecoms giant, Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) operating in Nigeria, has proposed a slash of the $5.2billion fine imposed on it by Nigerian authorities to $1.5 billion.
The fine was imposed last year by the telecom regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) after MTN failed to to meet the deadline to deregister 5.1 million improperly registered SIM cards on its network.
The fine was cut down to $3.9billion after the firm entered into negotiations with government, but as the deadline to pay up approached, it filed a suit to contest NCC’s powers to fine it.
Last week, however, MTN withdrew the matter from court and paid an initial N50billion, and is now requesting that the overall fine be further reduced to $1.5billion, about N300billion.
Buhari Redeploys 184 Top Officials Over Budget Padding
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the redeployment of top officials over the recent budget padding which ridiculed the 2016 national budget proposal.
Buhari had vowed that anyone found wanting in the recent budget padding would not go unpunished.
The President had described the incidence as embarrassing and promised to deal decisively with anybody found guilty of tampering with the budget.
“The culprits will not go unpunished. I have been a military governor, petroleum minister, military head of state and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund. Never had I heard the words “budget padding.”
“Our minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team. The minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it. What he gave us was not what was finally being debated. It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished,” he had vowed.
NSE Market Capitalisation Rises By N22bn
Transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed on Friday on a bullish note with market capitalisation appreciating marginally by N22 billion or 0.25 per cent.
The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that transaction closed at N8.94 trillion from the N8.92 trillion recorded on Thursday.
Also, the All-Share Index, which opened at 25,923.77 improved by 64.63 points or 0.25 per cent to close at 25,988.40.
Mobil led the gainers’ chart by N11.05 to close at N171 per share.
Total Oil followed with a gain of N7.05 to close at N150 per share, while Nigerian Breweries grew by N3.5 to close at N100 per share.
FlourMill appreciated by N1.78 to close at N20.16 per share and Oando Oil rose by 49k to close at N5.35 per share.
On the other hand, Nestle led the losers’ with a N10 loss to close at N690 per share, while Dangote Cement depreciated by N1.01 to close at N164 per share.
Access Bank lost 22k to close at N4.42 per share, while GTBank and Zenith bank dipped by 5k each to close at N16.25 and N12.35 per share, respectively.
FBN Holdings emerged as the most traded equity, accounting for 23.98 million shares worth N88.62 million, while Fidelity Bank followed with an exchanged 16.12 million worth N19.91 million.
Trascorp sold 15.68 million shares worth N18.91 million and Zenith Bank traded 15.22 shares valued at N188.75 million.
In all, investors exchanged a total of 165.98 million shares worth N1.30 billion in 2,895 deals.
The volume represented 46 per cent decrease over the 310.65 million shares valued at N2.06 billion traded in 3,010 deals on Thursday. (NAN)