It was also learnt that about $300,000 (over N90milion) was paid to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) for a curious legal service. According to findings, the EFCC began the probe following petition from Legalmax Solicitors challenging the agreement. The petition was signed by Max Ogar, who is a Public Interest Litigation Attorney in Abuja. He accused two Senior Advocates of Nigeria of facilitating the agreement with one of them pocketing the said$300,000. In the petition, which was received by the EFCC on April 11, 2016, Ogar asked the anti-graft agency to probe the following: * The Terms of Settlement and Non Prosecution Agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Tidex Nigeria Limited” wherein the company was meant to pay into the account of a private Legal Practitioner purported to the Federal Government’s designated Counsel. * On what basis was the company exempted from prosecution after committing the heinous of fence of importing toxins into our country? * Why didn’t the Solicitor General of the Federation witness the purported agreement? * The payment of legal fees of $300,000 to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Ogar added: “We are convinced that the action of the two Senior Advocates of Nigeria clearly amounts to an economic crime against our country which no patriot can overlook. “Accordingly, we respectfully urge you to cause an investigation into this perfidy with a view to prosecuting the culprits and recovering the money from them.” A source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have received a petition on the whereabouts of the $6million (N1.908billion) fines paid by Tidewater. “Some investigators have started looking into the issues raised by Ogar and soon we will invite those who were parties to the agreement.” It was gathered that a document on the terms of agreement had been made available to EFCC. The document reads in part: “The terms of Settlement and Non-Prosecution Agreement is entered into as of February 2011 between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Tidex Nigeria Limited (TIDEWATER) a limited liability company incorporated under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Tidewater and on behalf of each of its parent, subsidiaries, joint venture partner hereinafter collectively referred to as the companies on the other hand. “The Federal Government of Nigeria agrees that it will not file or seek to file any criminal charges, complaints, allegations, lawsuits (civil or otherwise), indictments, or causes of action of any kind against Tidewater or any of the companies arising from any of the facts or allegations relating to the investigations carried out into the conduct of Tidewater and the companies business in Nigeria subject matter of the proposed criminal proceedings pursuant to any Nigerian laws and which arise, relate to, or are connected with any failure by tidewater and/or any of the companies to comply with applicable Nigerian law in relation to the temporary importation of vessels into Nigeria, or in relation to the use of Panalpina entities or other customs brokers or agents to secure permits or waivers from any federal government of Nigeria agency (Panalpina Services) including but not limited to actions under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, the Criminal Code Act, the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, the Penal Code Act, the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Customs and Excise Management Act and all other related legislations, regulations or any or successor legislations or modifications in relation thereto. “No further and/or other sanctions: the FGN agrees that tidewater and the companies have extensive business interests in Nigeria and that tidewater and the companies intend to continue their regular. “Reimbursement of FGN legal costs and expenses; in recognition of the fact that the FGN has incurred legal costs and expenses in connection with the investigations carried out into the conduct of tidewater and companies’ business in Nigeria, tidewater for tidewater and the companies agrees to reimburse the FGN for legal costs equal to five percent of the ex-gratia payment set out in section 3 above in the sum of $300, 000 or its equivalent in Naira at the prevailing CBN exchange rate. Tidewater will pay the said legal costs and expenses to FGN’s designated counsel (as contained in the schedule 2 hereto) for tidewater and the companies not later than 14 days from the effective date of this agreement. “FGN represents and warrants that the reimbursement of FGN legal costs to the FGN designated counsel in the terms of this agreement is lawful under Nigerian laws and regulations.” “In consideration of this agreement, Tidewater will pay the sum of $6million or its equivalent in whole or in part in Naira to the Federal Government of Nigeria and on behalf of the companies. “The payment would be made into the FGN designated accounts (as contained in Schedule 1 hereto) at the prevailing CBN exchange rate not later than 14 days from the effective date.”]]>

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