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Alleged Manipulation of Tax : Italian Construction company, Borini Prono, Battles Nigerian Police

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OLA KING

Alleged manipulation of tax : Italian Construction company, Borini Prono, Battles Nigerian Police 

   A limited liability company Borini Prono & company Nigeria Limited, whose Directors are under investigation over alleged crime of fraudulent practice to cheat the Federal Inland Revenue on tax and to deny contract facilitators of financial entitlement has dragged Inspector General of Police before a Federal high court sitting in Lagos.

      The Italian construction company is urging the court to restrain the defendants Police officers from inviting, interrogating, investigating, or detaining the officers of the company        Joined as co-respondents in the suit are, The Assistant Inspector General of Police CID zone 2 Police command, The Commissioner of Police CID zone 2 Command,The Assistant Commissioner of Police CID Zone 2 Command, and a Lagos businessman Christopher Uzodike.    In an affidavit sworn to by a Director of Borini Prono & Company Nigeria Limited, Paolo Prono of  11 Burma Road,Apapa,Lagos state averred that by invitation letter dated 20th March, 2019 Mr Gianfranco Albertazzi,, the Managing Director of the company was invited by the Zonal monitoring Unit of the Nigerian Police Force Zone 2 Headquarters    On 25th of March,2019 he reported at the Zone 2 Police Command, in the company of his lawyer, upon his arrival, he was shown a petition written against him by one Mr Christopher Uzodike on the basis of alleged outstanding contractual indebtedness of his company to him.      He was interrogated and was admitted and release  on administrative bail and was instructed to return on 2nd of April,2019with documentation in support of the position of his company.      He reported as instructed but officer in charge of his case was not available.
      However, to his utmost surprise at about 5am on the morning of 3rd April,2019 he was arrested at his residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, by officers from criminal and investigating Department Zone 2 Onikan Lagos and detained on the assertion that he failed to report as instructed.        Thereafter joint meeting was held with the petitioner, his lawyer with the officer in charge of the criminal investigation in respect of a second petition and was requested to report back on 10th April,2019.      On the 10th of April, he made statement on behalf of the company, and the commissioner in charge of CID after reading the content of the petition of Mr Uzodike  and questioning the parties came to the conclusion that the matter related to purely to civil contractual transaction which was outside the purview of the Nigerian Police,therefore he was requested to report back on May 6, 2019,    However,  he sought the advice of his lawyer, who advice him that, continuous, invitation, interrogation and arrest by the Police at every material time has continued to disrupt business and operation of the company, particularly in respect of critical road construction currently being executed.      

Consequently, he urged the court to restrain the defendants from further inviting, interrogating, investigating,or detaining, the Directors, Managers, Secretaries or any officer of the company as Nigerian Police being law enforcement agency, is not empowered to entertain petitions in respect of civil or contractual disputes. 

   However in a counter affidavit sworn to by Inspector Fidelis Ilobun, Police Officer, serving at Zonal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Zone 2 Police command,  He claimed that he is a member of the Police Team that is investigating criminal allegations against the company  captioned Re: FRAUDULENT PRACTICES BY THE FOREIGN COMPANY BORINI PRONO & CO. (NIGERIA) LIMITED. TO CHEAT THE FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE OF TAX AND TO DENY LOCAL PARTNERS AND CONTRACT FACILITATORS OF THEIR HUGE FINANCIAL ENTITLEMENTS, reported to the  Assistant Inspector General of Police Criminal investigation Department Zone 2 by  a Lagos businessman Mr Christopher Uzodike against the Borini Prono company from which this suit arose.

   Inspector Ilobun who claimed to be a member of the Police Team investigating the criminal allegations of fraudulent practice to cheat the Federal Inland Revenue on tax and to deny local partners and contract facilitators of financial entitlements reported to the Assistant Inspector General of Police  against the Company stated that in the course of Police investigation of the alleged crime alleged  above,

 The police invited the officers of the Borini Prono company , namely; Messrs Gianfranco Albertazzi and Mr. Paolo Prono via Police invitation letter dated 29th March, 2019

 Mr Albertazzi reported at the Zone 2 Police command on 25th March, 2019 together with his Lawyer, Mr. Remi Dalley, and having read through the petition against the Applicant, volunteered statement to the Police as one of the officers of the company , who acted for it in his dealings with Mr Uzodike , from which the petition to the Police arose

   Mr. Albertazzi was granted Police administrative bail and released to his Lawyer who stood as surety for his bail on the same 25th March, 2019, immediately after his statement was made  to the Police.

  During his response to the criminal allegations made against his company   Mr. Albertazzi stated that the relationship which the company  had with Uzodike  was that he supplied iron rod and cement to the company  which they have fully paid for, with invoices for payment dully issued as evidence.

  The Police requested Mr. Albertazzi to produce the invoices evidence mentioned by him to the Police in order to assist Police investigation, and he was further requested to report back at the commissioner ‘s office for the interview of the parties, on the 2nd April, 2019, together with Mr. Prono, who failed to honour Police invitation along with Mr. Albertazzi on the said 25th March, 2019

  Despite that Albertazzi was duly informed by the Police and also informed in his bail bond executed by  him and his surety, to report back to the commissioner’s  office on 1st of April,2019.

    He failed to honour police invitation  on that day.

The failure of Albertazzi to report at the commissioner’s office on 1st of April ,2019,which was in clear violation of his bail bond, led to the cancellation of the commissioner’s interview schedule for both parties in the case, and the interview was therefore rescheduled to 2nd April, 2019.

   The rescheduled interview prompted the police to send another invitation letter to messrs Arlbertazzi and Prono on 2nd April,219 requesting them to report at the Commissioner of Police’s office on 2nd April 2019

Mr Albertazzi,  and Mr. Prono, again failed to honour police invitation to report  on 2nd April,2019, and no police officer informed him that commissioner was not in the office on that day.

   The Police did not arrest Mr. Arlbertazzi on 3rd April,2019 or on any other day.

   Due to the failure of Albertazzi and Prono to honour Police invitation letter served on them on 1st April,2019 to report on the  2nd April,2019 to find out the reason for his absence, but that 2nd of April,2019, he could not give any reasonable reason for at the instance of Albertazzi and his lawyer,  the interview for both parties was rescheduled for 10th April,2019.

   Mr Arlbertazzi together with Prono and Uzodike with their lawyers  all reported at the commissioner’s  office for the interview on 10th April,2019.Prono volunteered statement.

.  During the interview section, where Lawyer to both parties were also present, Mr. Arlbertazzi stated that it was iron rod and cement that the petitioner  supplied to the company , on which the company  duly issued invoices as evidence of supply and payment. This was vehemently denied by Uzodike  who maintained he is a contract facilitator to the company, on which the Applicant through Mr .Albertazzi and Mr. Prono, manufactured fraudulent invoices with the sole aim of  manipulating the Company’s taxes payable to Federal Government of Nigeria and cheat their contract facilitators.

   Based on these new facts discovered during the interview, the commissioner of Police in charge of criminal investigation Department  requested the company‘s officers, i.e. Mr .Arlbertazzi and Mr Prono to make the invoices mentioned by them and disputed by Uzordike available to the police, to assist the on-going investigation.

   The commissioner  did not made any statement that suggest the Uzodike’s petition was a civil contractual transactions. Rather the commissioner  requested the company officer i.e.  Mr. Arbertazzi and  Mr.Prono to make the invoices mentioned by them  available to the police, to assist, the on –going  investigation ,and  directed  the police team investigating the case to continue with their  investigation and report their findings at the conclusion of their investigation.

 Despite Police earlier request and   the commissioner’s  further  request to the company ’s officers, i.e.  Mr .Arbertazzi and Mr.Prono, to produce the invoices mentioned by them  to the police for investigation so as to unravel the purpose and intent for which the invoices were made by the company, but they blatantly refused to produce  the invoices to the  police till date.

But since 10th of  April, 2019 Mr. Arbertazzi and Prono, has been engaging in ‘hide and seek’ as they have jumped police administrative bail and absconded from investigation, having also failed to produce the alleged invoices to the police for investigation.

  The police were still waiting and hoping that Mr.Arbertazzi and Prono will produce the invoices mentioned by them to the police when they  received the company ’s suit.

  The case reported by Uzodike to the Assisstant Inspector General of Police In charge of Criminal investigation  is not a mere civil contractual   transactions, but   alleged crime of fraudulent practice to cheat the Federal inland Revenue on tax and to deny contract facilitators of financial entitlement.

 The alleged manufacturing and manipulation of invoices by the Applicants, Mr.Arlbertazzi and Prono, to cheat  Government of taxes and cheat their contract facilitators, are criminal allegations which police has powers to investigate.

   No contractual debt was mentioned by the  petitioner in his petition to the police and the police is not investigating debt from the company. 

 The company  cannot seek injunction from the court to restrain the police from investigating alleged crime.

 The company  is not entitle to order of injunction against the Police to stop them from investigating criminal allegations made to them by the petitioner  against the Borini Prono company .

  The police have not done anything in their investigation of alleged crime reported to them against the company  that is out the area and duties of investigation.

 The company  is not entitled to any damages or cost against the Police who are merely performing their statutory duties of investigation. 

     The suit and claim against the Police  is  pre-emptive, speculative, frivolous and aimed mainly to frustrate Police investigation of the alleged crime reported to them.

 The Respondents Police officers and the Nigeria Police force will be prejudice if the company’s claim against them is granted by the court because it will stop them from performing their statutory duty of investigation.

      Consequently, the respondent Police officers urge the court to dismiss the claim of the company.

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CBN Sets To Roll Out E-naira October 1

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CBN Denies Non Remittance Of 80% Surpluses-Crystal News

The director of Information Technology, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Rukiya Mohammed, on Wednesday said the apex bank has concluded plans to launch the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) on October 1.

Mohammed disclosed this in a webinar, themed “Digital currency and the prospects of CBDC in Nigeria”, organized by the committee of e-Business in industry Heads Nigeria (CeBIH).

Mohammed said that the use of digital payment was rising while cash payment was declining both in Nigeria and globally.

She said that over 85 per cent of Central Banks worldwide were considering digital currency and so CBN was also innovative to cope with global trends.

“CBDC would contribute to macro-economic growth in the country, if people adopt more of the usage of the e-naira, it would enhance more data to formulate macro economic policies.

“Also, when more countries have their own digital currencies, it would increase exchange of currency and be able to build cross border trade at lower cost.

“Even though Nigeria has a good payment system, this would also improve Nigeria’s payments efficiency,“ she said.

She said the CBN has partnered with a lot of experts in digital currency technology providers such as MasterCard, came up with the design and would soon publish the design.

“CBN would focus on low amount payments at the introductory stage, instant settlement with low cost.

“CBDC would be legal tender with one e-naira equivalent to one naira which shows fundamental differences between CBDC and crypto currencies,” she said.

Also speaking, Dr Adesola Adedutan, Managing Director, First Bank Nigeria, said that the Central Bank of Nigeria CBDC was a game changer that would provide an alternative payment system and would radically transform the payment landscape.

Adedutan, who was represented by the Banks deputy chief executive, Mr Francis Soba, said CBDC provides a platform for the government to leverage blockchain technology to maintain a centralised and institutional role over of the currency.

‘’It should be noted that there are significant differences between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies,” he said.


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Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today 22 September 2021

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Dollar to Naira exchange rate today 22 September 2021, the black market rate has emerged.

The official dollar to naira exchange rate in Nigeria today includes the Black Market rates, Bureau De Change (BDC) rate, and CBN rates.

How Much Is Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today Official Rate?

The exchange rate between the Naira and the US dollar according to the data posted on the FMDQ Security Exchange where forex is officially traded showed that the naira opened at N412.89 per dollar on Wednesday, 22 September 2021, after it closed at N413.28 per $1 on Tuesday, 21 September. This represents a change of 0.08%.

Exchange Rate of Dollar To Naira in Black Market Today?

The Nigeria parallel market (black market dollar exchange rate today) to the Nigerian Naira is as follows: For the Lagos market (Ogba and Ikeja market).

Lagos Parallel Market Rates September 22, 2021 (Black Market)

Ogba in Lagos parallel market (black market dollar exchange rate today)

The local currency opened at N560.00 per $1 at the parallel market otherwise known as the black market, today, Wednesday, 22 September 2021, in Ogba Lagos Nigeria after it closed N557.00 per $1 on Tuesday, 22 September 2021. This represents a change of $3 from the previous day.

Crystal News reports that in the black market, the players buy a dollar for N550 and sell for N560 on Wednesday morning, September 22, 2021. after they bought N550 for and sold N557 the previous day.

Ikeja in Lagos parallel market (black market dollar exchange rate today)

The local currency opened at N573.00 per $1 at the parallel market otherwise known as the black market, today, Wednesday, 22 September 2021, in Lagos Nigeria, after it closed N573.00 per $1 on Tuesday, 22 September 202. This represents a change of $0 from the previous day.

The black market, the players buy a dollar for N570 and sell for N573 on Wednesday morning, September 22, 2021. after they bought N570 for and sold N573 the previous day.

How much is a dollar to naira today black market in Abuja, PH and Akwa Ibom?

The black market dollar to naira exchange rate today as seen the markets experience different rates as dealers in Abuja,PH and Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, southern Nigeria, on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, said the currency opened at N571.00 and N565.00 per $1 at the black market respectively.


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Six Things You Should Know About E-Naira

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Six Things You Should Know About E-Naira

In June 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ascribed stability to the banking system as an advantage of adopting its soon to be launched digital currency, e-Naira.

The CBN’s decision followed two years of contemplation on digital currency technology. Additionally, the CBN’s intention to achieve 80% financial inclusion by the end of 2021 is another motivation to launch digital money.

While there is much information about this digital currency which is soon to be launched, below are six things you should know about the nature of this innovation:

 E-Naira is purely digital

The e-Naira would be a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) which means that while it is regulated by the CBN, it is a token that would only exist in digital and electronic form.

 E-Naira is universally transferable

The CBDC would be eligible for local and international transfers with little to no time lag and cheaper transaction fees than physical currencies. Also, it would allow you to transfer existing funds in your bank to your digital currency account.

 E-Naira has a myriad of economic advantages

With the e-Naira, Nigerians can engage in easier cross-border trade, as well as enjoy a cheaper and faster inflow of remittances. Also, a digital currency would provide more financial opportunities for Nigerians as they would be able to create new business opportunities and financial products and services.

According to the CBN, another perk of the e-Naira is a reduction in the cost of operations and cash management. It would also leave a clearer footprint of digital transactions, making it easier for financial institutions to track transactions.

Financial Institutions would still be relevant

The digital currency would be implemented through a two-tiered model which would enable a structure that leaves room for public-private partnership. Just like the physical currency, the CBN will design the e-Naira but disseminate it through regulated financial institutions, which would then provide digital cash to individuals and businesses.

 E-Naira not a Cryptocurrency

While all cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, it is important to note that not all digital currencies are cryptocurrencies. The e-Naira would be regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, but cryptocurrencies are not regulated by any government.

Implementation is on track

A recent development in the process of implementing digital currency is the selection of a technical fintech partner, Bitts Inc. After a thorough selection process, as prescribed by the Nigeria Public Procurement Act, Bitts Inc. emerged as a partner to the CBN for this innovative project.

Bitts Inc. prioritises the creation of payment systems that ensures an increase in social inclusion, financial inclusion and overall sustainable economic growth; the excellence in their operation methods has earned them acknowledgment from the Bretton Woods Institutions – IMF/World Bank. This is one of the reasons the CBN enlisted them for this crucial exercise.

Also, the company was the first fintech to digitize a national currency on a blockchain by creating a synthetic CBDC with the support of the Governor, Central Bank of Barbados and the country’s Minister of Finance.

As Nigeria counts down to her 61st Independence Day celebration, citizens can look forward to the start of a digital era where the CBN prioritises making financial operations more citizen-centric.


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