President, Confederation of African Football, CAF, Ahmad Ahmad has been arrested in France over a shady deal.
He was said to have been arrested around 8:30am at the Berri Hotel in Paris, according to several media reports.
His arrest was said to be based on issues relating to contractual matters with a Puma deal that was unilaterally abrogated in favour of another company.
According to Jeune Afrique, Ahmad would be heard by the services of the Central Office for the fight against corruption and financial and fiscal offenses.
It was gathered that his arrest was linked to the contract unilaterally broken by CAF with the German equipment manufacturer Puma to engage with the company Technical Steel, based in La Seyne-sur-Mer.
A signing of a contract which, according to the former Secretary General of the Continental Forum, Amr Fahmy, was favored by the proximity between Ahmad and one of the leaders of the French company, whose additional cost would reach 830 000 dollars (739 000 euros).
“All decisions were made collegially” and “transparent,” defended mid-April, the boss of African football.
The arrest comes as Ahmad was in Paris to attend the FIFA Congress, which resulted in the re-election of President Gianni Infantino.
FIFA has asked the French authorities for reasons for the arrest.
Ahmad, a former Malagasy cabinet minister, was reported last month to FIFA’s ethics committee for alleged corruption and sexual harassment by CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy, who was then fired.
Among the allegations are claims Ahmad forced CAF to buy sportswear through a French company rather than directly from manufacturers and at inflated prices.
“FIFA is unaware of the details surrounding this investigation and is therefore not in a position to make any comment on it specifically,” FIFA said in a statement.
“FIFA is asking the French authorities for any information that might be relevant to investigations taking place within its Ethics Committee”, it said.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has revoked five Oil Mining Licences (OML) and one Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) belonging to five companies.
In a public notice issued on Thursday by the regulatory body, the revocation was based on a presidential directive to “recover legacy debts” owed by the companies operating the licences.
The five companies affected are: Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (OML 98); Allied Energy Resources Nigeria (OML 120 and 121); Express Petroleum and Gas Company (OML 108); Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria (OML 110) and Summit Oil International (OPL 206)
Summit Oil is owned by the family of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Pan Ocean hopes to commence the production of oil and gas from OML-147 at Owa Aladima.
OML 147 is the first to be on production among the 2007 bid rounds.
The former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, had last February announced plans to recover the oil licences of the companies indebted to it.
He expressed worry that some of the companies had failed to make statutory remittances in spite of being in Joint Venture (JV) with the Federal Government, a development he said was denying it revenue running into billions of dollars.
Directorate General of Shipping in India has banned Indian seafarers from working in vessels in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea, as piracy and kidnapping incidents increase.
This may affect shipping between Nigeria and India. India is now Nigeria’s largest trading partner, buying at least 30 per cent of Nigeria’s crude oil. The import is worth over $10billion yearly. In return, Nigeria also buy a number of manufactured goods from India, including tricycles.
According to The Punch, a circular sent to all shipping owners, shipping companies, which was signed by Captain Anish Joseph, for the Directorate-General of Shipping in India, warned manning agents not to engage any Indian seafarers on coastal vessels trading solely within the ports of Gulf of Guinea including Benin, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The circular read : “For the attention of shipowners, ship managers, shipping agents, RPSL agents, ship masters, seafarers, charterers, shipbuilders, Ship Breakers Association, Classification Societies recognised by Directorate General of Shipping, non-exclusive survey companies, insurance companies, coastal state including administrations of union territories/islands and Maritime Boards.
“Piracy/armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea are becoming more violent with a greater tendency to attack, hijack and rob vessels as well as kidnap crew, in the waters of Gulf of Guinea.
“These attacks having also been reported up to 170 nautical miles from the coast. In many of these incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, pirates have hijacked the vessel for several days, ransacked the vessel and stolen part cargo (usually gas oil). Additionally, in these past attacks, ships’ crew members have also been injured, kidnapped and in certain occasions taken ashore for ransom.
“As per International Maritime Organisation promulgated reports of attempted attacks by pirates and armed robbers via the Global Integrated Shipping Information System, the sum total of the number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery in West Africa, as reported to IMO in the 10-year period from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2018, was 555.”
“The number of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships in West Africa as per GISIS covering the period 1 January to 31 December 2018 was 81 and reflected a comparable increase from 49 incidents reported in 2017. During these 10 years, 2018 also showed the highest in the number of episodes, with three ships reportedly hijacked and 86 crew held hostage in that year.
“Accordingly, all RPSL agents are instructed to not engage any Indian seafarers on coastal vessels trading solely within the ports in Gulf of Guinea (i.e. Benin, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea). All concerned stakeholders are also advised to take note of the information provided in this advisory and act accordingly.”
*Some piracy incidents targeted at Indians:
*In February 2018: An oil tanker with 22 Indians on board was hijacked by pirates. All the crew members were however after four days, safe and the ship, Merchant Ship Marine Express resumed sailing.
*In April 2019, pirates attacked MV APECUS, a Palau-flagged vessel at anchor off Bonny Island in Nigeria and kidnapped six crew members. Three of the kidnapped men were Indians. They were later released after ransom paid.