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  • Business: Court stops planned sale of 9mobile
  • The Abuja division of the Federal High
    Court has halted the planned sale of
    embattled telecommunication firm,
    Etisalat (now 9mobile) following
    opposition to the move by some
    aggrieved shareholders.
    The shareholders – Afdin Ventures
    Limited and Dirbia Nigeria Limited – who
    claimed to be major investors, complained
    of being left out in the firm’s decision-
    making processes and are therefore
    demanding the refund of their investment
    estimated at $43,330,950 (N1.56 billion).
    The decision was consequent upon a suit
    filed before the court by the shareholders.
    In the said suit marked: FHC/ABJ/
    CR/288/2018, Karlington
    Telecommunications Ltd, Premium
    Telecommunications Holdings NV, First
    Bank of Nigeria Plc, Central Bank of
    Nigeria (CBN), Etisalat International
    Nigeria Ltd and Nigerian Communication
    Commission (NCC) were all been listed as
    defendants.
    Justice Binta Nyako had, after listening to
    Mahmud Magaji, who moved an ex-parte
    motion on behalf of the aggrieved
    shareholders, ruled that “an order is made
    for the maintenance of status quo as at
    today (yesterday).”
    Justice Nyako, who said, “the defendants
    ought to be heard,” also ordered the
    service of processes on them (the
    defendants), including the 3rd and 5th
    (First Bank and Etisalat), whose
    addresses are outside jurisdiction.
    The judge, who also ordered that “the writ
    be marked as concurrent,” adjourned to
    May 14 for mention. The plaintiffs said in
    a statement of claim that they bought
    shares in Etisalat from the 1st and 2nd
    defendants (Karlington Ltd and Premium
    Holdings) through “a private placement
    memorandum in which the 3rd defendant
    (First Bank) served as a custodian of the
    plaintiffs’ share certificate.”
    They said while the 1st plaintiff (Afdin
    Ventures) “bought 1,300,391 Class A
    shares at $13,003,910,” which it paid for
    on August 14, 2009, the 2nd plaintiff
    (Dirbia Ltd) acquired 3,300,004 Class A
    shares at $30,030,040, for which it made
    payment on September 3, 2009.

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