Latest updates

Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission under pressure
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • White Collar Crime
  • Nigeria
  • December 18 2017

Following media reports accusing the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission director general and two other senior officials of serious financial impropriety, the Federal Ministry of Finance recently announced the suspension of the accused officials pending investigations into the accusations. Regardless of whether the allegations are true, the commission has come under pressure in the past two years due to an increase in the number of market crises, which critics have attributed to failures in oversight.

Maritime security – who's in charge?
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • November 22 2017

There appears to be some level of cooperation across the relevant agencies in Nigeria in ensuring that the country's waters are kept safe. However, the lines are blurred with regard to the delineation of these agencies' maritime security functions. As several international instruments to which Nigeria is legally bound call for the preservation of maritime security, it is imperative to understand which agencies should be held accountable for protecting its waters.

Making Nigeria a travel hub
George Etomi & Partners
  • Aviation
  • Nigeria
  • November 22 2017

The Nigerian aviation industry has the potential to contribute in excess of 5% to the nation's gross domestic product and support over 1 million jobs. Nigeria's recent achievements and Level 3 rating in the state safety programme implementation process have positioned the country to become a travel hub. However, the inherent challenges facing the industry must be addressed before this status can be achieved.

Court of Appeal confirms Tax Appeal Tribunal's jurisdiction to determine tax disputes
ǼLEX
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Nigeria
  • November 16 2017

The Court of Appeal recently held that the Tax Appeal Tribunal has jurisdiction to adjudicate tax-related disputes. The appellants in the case successfully argued that the tribunal's jurisdiction to determine tax disputes does not encroach on the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, as bringing tax appeals before the tribunal is merely a condition precedent to approaching the court. Further, the tribunal's decisions can be reviewed and quashed by the court.

Waterways: Lagos v federal government – who won?
  • Litigation
  • Nigeria
  • October 17 2017

The Court of Appeal recently declared the Lagos State House of Assembly competent to make laws relating to intra-inland waterways in the state. The appeal turned on whether the regulation and control of Lagos state intrastate and inland waterways fall under the exclusive legislative list which confers legislative competence on the National Assembly. Contrary to reports, the decision is hardly a win for the Lagos state government.

Waterways: Lagos v federal government – who won?
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • October 11 2017

The Court of Appeal recently declared the Lagos State House of Assembly competent to make laws relating to intra-inland waterways in the state. The appeal turned on whether the regulation and control of Lagos state intrastate and inland waterways falls under the exclusive legislative list which confers legislative competence on the National Assembly. Contrary to reports, the decision is hardly a win for the Lagos state government.

Maritime insurance claims: limiting insurers' liability
  • Insurance
  • Nigeria
  • October 10 2017

Although the Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 has yet to be domesticated in Nigeria, certain laws provide for the limitation of liability in some instances. However, the question remains as to whether the insurer – where the law permits an assured to limit its liability and it makes a claim – must indemnify the assured up to the limit of its liability or to the fullest extent of the policy.

Government signs agreements with United Arab Emirates to combat corruption and money laundering
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • White Collar Crime
  • Nigeria
  • October 09 2017

President Buhari recently signed a number of agreements with the United Arab Emirates concerning extradition, the transfer of sentenced persons and mutual legal assistance. This is one of the first concrete steps that Buhari has taken to combat corruption and money laundering since taking office. According to reports, the government is seeking to use these agreements to effect the seizure of real estate in Dubai which allegedly belongs to the former petroleum minister.

Maritime insurance claims: limiting insurers' liability
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • October 04 2017

Although the Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 has yet to be domesticated in Nigeria, certain laws provide for the limitation of liability in some instances. However, the question remains as to whether the insurer – where the law permits an assured to limit its liability and it makes a claim – must indemnify the assured up to the limit of its liability or to the fullest extent of the policy.

Ports and Harbours Authority Bill 2016: an overview
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • September 27 2017

The Ports and Harbours Authority Bill recently passed its third and final reading in the Senate. The bill's objectives will resonate with followers of Nigeria's port reform efforts, as they clearly demonstrate an intention to give legal status to the landlord port management and administration model adopted by the government in 2006. The bill thus addresses some of the legal issues that have resulted from the inadequate statutory provisions that support Nigeria's so-called 'port concessions era'.

The case for developing a policy and regulatory framework for business aviation
George Etomi & Partners
  • Aviation
  • Nigeria
  • September 27 2017

The Nigerian business aviation industry has the potential to expand significantly as the economy grows and diversifies, but some issues must be addressed in order to maximise results. As such, the business aviation industry needs an effective policy that will harness its potential and attract more foreign investment, as well as address safety and national security concerns.

High court issues non-conviction-based forfeiture orders
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • White Collar Crime
  • Nigeria
  • August 28 2017

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission recently succeeded in obtaining two final forfeiture orders of property without there having been a prior conviction. It will be interesting to see how these orders are addressed if any contested applications for non-conviction-based forfeiture orders come before the courts, as neither case set out the grounds that empower the courts to make such orders.

Civil Aviation Regulations 2015 – an overview
George Etomi & Partners
  • Aviation
  • Nigeria
  • August 16 2017

The Civil Aviation Regulations were first promulgated in 2006 in order to establish national requirements that align with the Civil Aviation Act 2006. The regulations were most recently amended in 2015, following a review by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority which aimed to align the regulations with recent amendments to the standard and recommended practices contained in the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and industry observations.

Impact of industrialisation on foreign investment
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • Nigeria
  • August 09 2017

In order to revolutionise its economy, Nigeria must formulate policies dedicated to industrial growth, as such growth can attract foreign investment. It is hoped that the existing wave of industrialisation in Nigeria will be accompanied by a political will to implement clearly defined policies to industrialise the country and increase the number of M&A transactions.

Court of Appeal declares collection of SLAC illegal
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • July 26 2017

A court of appeal sitting in Lagos State recently declared that the collection of the shipping line agency charge (SLAC) by shipping companies and its subsequent levy on importers and consignees was illegal. This judgment clarifies that shipping agency charges are illegal in Nigeria. The Nigerian Shippers' Council is now expected to recover the SLAC collected by the shipping companies, as ordered by the court.

Concurrent liabilities for loss of or damage to goods in tort and contract
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • July 19 2017

Two recent Supreme Court decisions provide case law on the fact that, as regards carriage of goods by sea claims, concurrent rights to sue in tort as well as under the contract may coexist for a claimant's benefit. However, English cases admit to the concurrent liabilities position certain exceptions that the Supreme Court, which substantially referenced an English Court of Appeal decision in one of its decisions, failed to point out.

Legal issues arising from wrecks and their removal
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • June 21 2017

When shipwrecks occur, they often pose navigational and environmental hazards and thus their urgent removal is necessary. Nigeria has had its fair share of wrecks, and in response the Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration Agency recently directed that all abandoned ships should be removed from Nigerian territorial waters.

BASAs reviewed in civil aviation context
George Etomi & Partners
  • Aviation
  • Nigeria
  • June 14 2017

Over the years, questions have arisen as to the effectiveness and profitability of Nigeria's bilateral air service agreements (BASAs) for the country's economy. It is apparent that certain BASAs have been negotiated or renegotiated without extensive consideration of the commercial elements required for the industry to experience the proposed targeted benefits of such agreements. Further, there has been little emphasis on the economic realities which Nigeria is facing.

Further seizures following whistleblower tip-offs
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • White Collar Crime
  • Nigeria
  • May 08 2017

The federal government continues to issue reports regarding the success of its whistleblower programme. As such, it was no real surprise when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission recently reported the discovery of $43.4million, £27,800 and N23.2million in cash following a tip-off. However, despite the reports of seizures resulting from information provided by whistleblowers, no reports have suggested that anyone has received any part of the recovered monies.

Verdict delivered in first prosecution of allegedly corrupt judges
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • White Collar Crime
  • Nigeria
  • May 01 2017

In October 2016 a number of senior judges from all levels of Nigeria's superior courts of record (ie, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court) were arrested. Of the seven judges arrested, only two have been charged to date. Of these two, one was recently discharged following a no case submission by his counsel. This reversal must have been embarrassing for the government, given the manner in which it conducted the operation to arrest the judge.