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FG Doubts Sanusi’s Peace Moves, Continues Court Case

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Federal government, yesterday, said it was still in doubt of the sincerity of  Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, erstwhile Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make peace with President Goodluck Jonathan.

Sanusi is now the Emir of Kano after succeeding his late great-uncle Dr Ado Bayero.

Vanguard reported that Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, attorney-general of the Federation and minister of Justice, told the National Industrial Court (NIC), sitting in Abuja that he was determined to pursue the legal action that was instituted against President Jonathan by the former CBN governor to its logical conclusion.
 
The AGF made this position of the government known to the court shortly after Sanusi who is now the Emir of Kano, notified Justice Babatunde Adejumo, President of the NIC,  of his decision to withdraw the suit challenging the powers of President Jonathan to suspend him from office as governor of the apex bank without recourse to the National Assembly.

Sanusi had in his suit, contended that only a two-third majority vote from the Senate could effectively oust a CBN governor from office, irrespective of any allegation levelled against the occupant of such position.

Though the case was originally filed before the Abuja Division of the Federal Court, it was subsequently transferred to the NIC by trial Justice Gabriel Kolawole who declined jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Accordinn to Vanguard, Justice Kolawole in a judgment on May 20, relied on section 24(3) of the NIC Act 2006, to transfer the case on the basis that the issue bothered on employer/employee relationship.

Meantime, at the resumed sitting on the matter yesterday, Sanusi, who was   represented by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, told the court that he had already filed a notice to discontinue further proceeding on the  suit

Addressing the court through his lead counsel Mr. Kola Awodehin, SAN, the emir of Kano, stressed that he had already served both President Jonathan and the AGF, who are the 1st and 2nd defendants in the matter, with copies of  the said notice of discontinuance. ”Our application is supported by Order 19 rule 17 of the NIC rules, and my Lord, all the parties have been duly served”, Awodehin added.

However, before Awodehin could conclude his submission, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN,  counsel to the AGF, told the court that although he would not object to Sanusi’s withdrawal application, he said his client, sceptic about the genuine intention of the plaintiff, was determined to continue with the matter.

Ozekhome, contended that Sanusi ought to have shown his sincerity by also withdrawing the appeal he lodged before the appeal court in Abuja which is challenging the jurisdiction of the NIC to adjudicate on the dispute between him and President Jonathan.

”My lord, as we speak today, that appeal is still pending. In fact, the plaintiff equally has another application before Justice Kolawole wherein he is seeking the stay of execution of the federal high court judgement pending the determination of his pending appeal”, Ozekhome added.

He told the court that the high court has already issued the AGF a notice to come and compile records for onward transmission to the court of appeal.

”In view of these developments, the AGF has asked me to wait for further instruction and it is that instruction that I am waiting for now”, Ozehkome told the court.

He insisted that unless Sanusi embarked on a wholistic withdrawal of all the pending legal actions he filed against the government in relation to his suspension from office,  the AGF would have no option than to go ahead with the case.

Besides, Ozehkome, informed the court that the AGF has also gone before the appeal court to challenge the powers of Justice Kolawole to transfer the case to the NIC after he had held that he lacked jurisdiction to entertain Sanusi’s suit


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SEC Insists on Full Disclosures despite Covid-19

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Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) has reiterated that all public companies must continue to make appropriate disclosures regardless of the movement restrictions in Abuja and Lagos.

SEC Insists on Full Disclosures despite Covid-19

According to the SEC, in light of the global pandemic of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and in furtherance to the Commission’s circular of March 24, the Commission provided additional guidance to the Capital Market.

It said, “All public companies are required to continue to make material disclosures to investors on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations.”

“They should also continue to disclose the trend and outlook for the company, and updates on implementation of business continuity plans. Public companies are to publish these disclosures on their websites and on other relevant media” it further stated.

SEC further stated that “Public companies who plan to conduct AGMs are required to ensure that the conduct of the meetings comply with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Investments and Securities Act, the SEC Rules and Regulations, relevant government and health circulars and guidelines issued in this regard.”

SEC said debt issuers are also expected to continue to engage Trustees to ensure that relevant disclosures are provided. Trustees are required to provide updates to the Commission accordingly.

The Commission enjoined all CMOs to continue to monitor the real and potential risks COVID-19 may have on their business operations and the discharge of services to investors and clients, stating that for further guidance, the Commission may be contacted through the dedicated email addresses for filing CMOs returns.


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AfDB Celebrates Milestone with First Social Bond Listing on London Stock Exchange

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The African Development Bank’s “Fight Covid-19” social bond, the largest social bond to date to be issued in the capital markets, listed on London Stock Exchange on Friday 3 April 2020, and is now available through its Sustainable Bond Market.

The listing marks an important milestone as the Bank launches its first bond on London Stock Exchange.

The over-subscribed transaction, which attracted $4.6 billion of interest in the book and raised an exceptional $3 billion, was launched to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on Africa’s economies and livelihoods.

The three-year maturity bond garnered interest from central banks and official institutions, bank treasuries and asset managers including Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investors.

Several high-quality ESG investors actively supported this remarkable transaction, including Affirmative Investment Management (UK), Breckinridge, Columbia Threadneedle (USA), the Government Pension Investment Fund, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Pension Boards – United Church of Christ, PineBridge Investments, Praxis Impact Bond Fund, TIAA/Nuveen and the United Nations Development Program.

“The international community must work together to successfully tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The UK, along with partners like the African Development Bank and London Stock Exchange Group, is supporting the most vulnerable countries to invest in their own health systems and avoid economic hardship,” International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said about the listing.

“While we invest in areas like vaccine research to help end the pandemic sooner, this private investment through the AfDB, and our support for emergency lending through the IMF, will also help limit its impact on the global economy,” Trevelyan further noted.

The London Stock Exchange, at the heart of London’s vibrant financial hub, is championing forward-looking initiatives aimed at deepening and diversifying the market. Its dedicated Sustainable Bond Market (SBM) draws innovative issuers and improves access, flexibility and transparency for investors.

Eligible social or sustainability bonds with use of proceeds aligned to mitigating the impact of Covid-19 will be admitted on the exchange with admission fees waived for an initial period of three-months, London Stock Exchange has announced.

Such social and sustainability bonds fund essential services such as healthcare, water and sanitation, supporting employment, or with a link to the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc and Group Director of International Development, said: “We welcome the first bond from African Development Bank to list on our market and support them in their vital efforts to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 across Africa. This bond highlights the important role that social and sustainability bonds can play in directing funding to those countries, sectors and people across the world heavily impacted by this pandemic.”

The Bank established its Social Bond framework in 2017 and raised the equivalent of $5 billion through issuances denominated in US dollars, Euro and Norwegian krone.

The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said: “We are proud to announce that our first listing on London Stock Exchange is a social bond. This is only the beginning of a stronger partnership between the African Development Bank and London Stock Exchange. We will mobilize all we can on the capital market to fight the coronavirus in Africa.”

The Bank’s previous activity in the social bond market has seen financing to build hospital capacity, boost access to health and healthcare services, strengthen health systems, provide improved access to water and sanitation, and create jobs across the continent.

Commenting on the listing, Martin Scheck, CEO of The International Capital Market Association or ICMA, said: “We believe Social and Sustainability Bonds can provide an immediately actionable channel for the market to finance projects that directly contribute to alleviating the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Swazi Tshabalala, Acting Senior Vice President, African Development Bank Group, said: “The African Development Bank is at the forefront of helping African countries fight this pandemic with innovative financing solutions. We welcome this partnership with London Stock Exchange which will help us expand the horizon of investors that are interested and committed to Africa’s sustainable development.”

Hassatou N’Sele, Treasurer, African Development Bank Group, said: “We appreciate the partnership with London Stock Exchange as we strive together to move the African continent forward. Today more than ever, Africa and the world need to stand as one to ride out the Covid-19 crisis.”


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NAICOM Urges Insurance Firms to Maintain Sanctity of Policy Contracts During Restrictions

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The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has directed insurance firms in the country to maintain sanctity of insurance contracts entered into with clients.

In a circular titled RE:  EFFECT OF COVID-19 ON INSURANCE OPERATIONS:  referenced NAICOM/DPR/CIR/27/2020 and  NAICOM/DPR/CIR/28/2020  dated  24  and  27 March 2020 respectively, the regulator granted firms some measure of leeway as part of business continuity measures and to, as much as possible, ensure availability of insurance services and protections of insurance policy holders during the COVID-19 movement restriction.

The NAICOM in the circular granted that Where Approval-In-Principle for the preceding insurance period had been granted, all renewals or extensions of the foreign reinsurance proportions that become due during COVID-19 movement restriction are permitted for renewal on existing basis.

It also said that where  Approval-In-Principle  for  the  foreign  proportion  of  a  new  insurance placement is required during the COVID-19 movement restriction, it shall be treated on the basis of “Use and File” subject to prior exhaustion of in-country capacity, adding that for the avoidance of doubt, after utilizing available local capacity, the lead insurer is permitted  to  reinsure  the  excess  of  the  risk  offshore  and  submit  relevant documentations to the Commission thereafter.

Also granted is that all Post Placement Reports, Reinsurance Treaties and other related special risk foreign reinsurance documentations due for submission during the pendency of theCOVID-19 restrictions are to be submitted when movement restrictions are lifted.

The regulator in the document signed by Pius T. Agboola, Director, Policy and Regulation, also noted that all insurance/reinsurance placements shall be done in accordance with other relevant extant insurance laws, regulations and guidelines while all submissions to the Commission including hard-copies sequel to the above forbearance shall be donenot later seven (7) days from the end of COVID-19 Movement Restrictions.

It advised firms to be diligent, circumspect and supportive of Government in its efforts to tame the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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