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Shoprite challenges order restraining asset transfer

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South Africa’s Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited Tuesday filed an application requesting the discharge of the mareva injunction preventing it from transferring its assets.

Funke Adekoya (SAN), the retailer’s lawyer, approached the vacation judge at the Federal High Court in Lagos, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, with an application seeking to set aside the injunction.

Justice Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had earlier issued the injunction in favour of A.I.C. Limited, which obtained a $10 million judgment against Shoprite in 2018 in a breach of contract suit.

AIC got the injunction in July against the backdrop of Shoprite’s plan to exit Nigeria.

Justice Liman restrained Shoprite from “from transferring, assigning, charging, disposing of its trademark, franchise, and intellectual property in a manner that will alter, dissipate or remove these non-cash assets and other assets, including but not limited to trade receivables, trade payables, payment for purchase of merchandise, from within the jurisdiction of this honourable court.”

He similarly requested Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, the second respondent, “to disclose its audited financial statements for the years ending 2018 and 2019 to enable the judgment creditor/applicant determine the judgment debtor’s/respondent’s funds in its custody in order to preserve same in satisfaction of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Appeal No: CA/L/288/2018.”

Justice Oweibo on Tuesday said he needed to be convinced that the matter required urgent attention to warrant being heard during the court vacation.

The judge ordered Shoprite’s lawyer to file an application to that effect and adjourned proceedings to 7th September.

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Nigerian fintech startup, Kuda Bank raises $55 million Series B round at $500 million valuation

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Nigerian fintech startup, Kuda Bank has raised $55 million in a Series B round at a valuation of $500 million. This comes just a few months after raising a $25 million Series A round.

The funding round was co-led by existing investors Target Global and Valar Ventures, the firm co-founded and backed by PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel, SBI Investment and a number of previous angels also participated.

Launched in 2019, and headquartered in Lagos and London, Kuda Bank currently provides services for consumers to save and spend money, receive overdrafts (essentially revolving credit for individuals).

As of November 2020, Kuda had 300,000 customers and was processing an average of $500 million worth of transactions per month.

In December 2020, Kuda raised $10 million dollars in a seed round, the largest-ever seed round raised by a startup out of Africa. At the time of the seed round, Kuda had registered 300,000 customers. In March, that figure doubled to 650,000 registered users.

Kuda now has 1.4 million registered users. The digital bank also has over one million downloads on the play store.

In the second quarter of the year, Kuda disbursed $20 million worth of credit to over 200,000 qualified users through its overdraft feature, with a 30-day repayment period. According to Ogundeyi, default has been “minimal” because of the company’s approach. “We use all the data we have for a customer and allocate the overdraft proportion based on the customer’s activities, aiming for it not to be a burden to repay,”.

The new funding round will be used to double down not just on new services for Nigeria, but to prepare its launch into more countries on the continent.

Babs Ogundeyi CEO of Kuda told TechCrunch. “We’ve been doing a lot. Resource deployment has been in our operational entity, in Nigeria. But now we are doubling down on the expansion and the idea is to build a strong team for the expansion plans for Kuda.

“We still see Nigeria as an important market and don’t want to be distracted so don’t want to disrupt those operations too much. It’s a strong market and competitive. It’s one that we feel we need to have a stronghold on. So this funding is to invest in expansion and have more experience in the company with relation to expansion.”

What they are saying

Andrew McCormack, a general partner at Valar Ventures said “Kuda is our first investment in Africa and our initial confidence in the team has been upheld by its rapid growth in the past four months. With a youthful population eager to adopt digital financial services in the region, we believe that Kuda’s transformative effect on banking will scale across Africa and we’re proud to continue supporting them.”

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FG refunds N143 billion to 5 states for road projects

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The Federal Government said that it has reimbursed a total amount of N143 billion to 5 states for the construction works on some federal roads.

This follows earlier permission given to the states by the Federal Government to undertake the construction of some federal roads with an agreement to refund later.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, on Saturday, during a visit to the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, at Government House, Birnin Kebbi.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Minister, an engineer by profession, was in Kebbi to ascertain the level of work executed by the state government on the construction of some federal roads in the state.

What the Minister of State for Works and Housing is saying

Aliyu in his statement said, “Out of the total distance of roads we have across the country, 34,000 kms plus are under the jurisdiction of the federal government out of which we are currently working on over 13,000 kms simultaneously with over 800 contracts currently ongoing.

“Before now, some states may find it extremely necessary, because of urgency, to approach the federal government to seek permission to construct federal roads that are within their states.

“The federal government will give them the permission and they will be reimbursed later. Before 2016 or around that period, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) set up a committee to verify and clear road construction executed by some state governments.

“The committee headed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Hon. Babatunde Raji Fashola was able to clear and verify 25 states who built federal government roads in their states.”

The Minister of State had stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had given approval for the payment of N477 billion, which was shared among the 25 states respectively, adding that this is the third set of which Kebbi is among, alongside Yobe and Taraba States.

He said, “As I am talking to you, by tomorrow, the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing will be in Yobe to ascertain and verify their road construction, while the Hon. Minister of Education will be in Taraba to do a similar job.

“That’s why I am here together with my team today, the secretariat is domiciled in the SGF’s office and that’s why you see me with the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, to come and verify the two roads as you requested.”

On his part the Kebbi State Governor, Bagudu appreciated the minister for the visit, applauding the present administration for completing one of the legacy roads it inherited; Sokoto-Tambuwal-Kontagora road.

He said that the project is one of the numerous uncompleted roads that were inherited by the President Buhari administration which are either completed or on the way to completion and was full of commendation.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that in November last year, the House of Representatives approved the issuance of promissory notes worth N148.141 billion to 5 States of the federation as refund for federal road projects executed on behalf of the federal government.
  • The States included Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun and Rivers.
  • The approval by the lower house follows a request by President Muhammadu Buhari through a letter dated August 13, 2020, seeking the approval of the National Assembly for the refund.
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EFCC, FBI arrest 167 fraudsters, recovers over $169,000 in 21 days

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it has arrested 167 Nigerians for alleged computer-related frauds within three weeks.

The Acting Chairman, EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, who was represented by Mohammed Abba, the commission’s Director of Operations, stated that the just concluded coordinated operations with the FBI tagged: ‘Operation Rewired’, resulted in the recovery of the sum of $169,850 as well as N92 million.

He also said that four exotic cars, plots of land in choice areas in Lagos and property in Abuja were also recovered during the operation.

“Being an international model operation targeted at computer-related frauds, the EFCC, FBI collaborative operations, spanning three weeks, was designed to intercept and interrupt the global network of internet fraudsters.

“Before now, we had relentlessly launched intensive investigative actions against the infamous ‘yahoo yahoo boys’, culminating into various strategic raids, onslaught on criminals hideout, prosecutions and convictions.

“Our efforts in collaborating and coordinating the EFCC, FBI joint operations in Nigeria recorded tremendous successes leading to a number of arrests, seizures and recoveries.

“The suspected fraudsters arrested in the course of the operation will be persecuted accordingly,” he said.

Abdulrasheed Bawa, therefore, urged the media to continue to help in mobilising and educating all critical stakeholders on the need to support the fight against economic and financial crimes.

He said society owes the youths the social responsibility of awakening their consciousness to the importance of a noble life devoid of crimes.

“I wish to state with a high sense of responsibility, there is no shortcut to success other than hard work.

“The youths, therefore, must shun crime and its alluring temptations, because it will always end in sorrow and regrets.

“Now that the infamous internet crimes have received global attention and concern, there will be no hiding place for fraudsters,” he said.

“The youths, therefore, must shun crime and its alluring temptations, because it will always end in sorrow and regrets.

“Now that the infamous internet crimes have received global attention and concern, there will be no hiding place for fraudsters,” he said.

Bawa noted that the EFCC would continue to partner with the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies, especially in the area of exchange of information and actionable intelligence.

He said that this would reduce the menace of cybercrime and other computer-based frauds in the country.

Also speaking, Mr Uche Ahamdi, Legal Attaché, FBI, Abuja said that IC3; FBI’s global reporting internet fraud body received 20,373 Business E-mail Compromised (BEC) complaints with losses of over 1.2 billion dollars.

“The FBI and law enforcement partners in the US and abroad implemented a strategy to target and disrupt these scammers and illicit actors and dismantle international fraudulent BEC transactions.

“The sweep ran from May through September during a four week period primarily in the U.S., Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, France, Italy, UK, Japan, Kenya and Malaysia.

“This was done in accordance to the efforts to dismantle international fraudulent BEC transactions and pursue organised criminal enterprises that target and harm American businesses,” Ahamdi said.

Ahamdi said that the global goal of the operation was to send a message to all who participated in BEC scheme that they would be caught and prosecuted regardless of where they were located.

“The operation leveraged resources from across the FBI, which enabled it to bring the sum total of FBI cyber organised crime and money laundering expertise to bear on dismantling the criminal enterprise.

“The surge of resources for this operation will serve as a centre piece for future cybercriminal strategy in moving forward,” he added.

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