Court Reserves Judgment On Daily Times Acquisition

Court Reserves Judgment On Daily Times Acquisition

The Court of Appeal in Lagos has reserved judgment on the appeal filed by Folio Communications Limited and four others.

Court Reserves Judgment On Daily Times Acquisition

Folio and other appellants are by their appeal challenging the judgment of a Federal High Court, Lagos, which in 2010 nullified their acquisition of the majority shares in Daily Times of Nigeria.

The Justice Amina Augie-led appeal panel, reserved the appeal for judgment after hearing parties, saying the judgment day would be communicated to them when ready.

The judge, who delivered judgment against the appellant at the trial court, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, had held that Folio Communications belonging to Fidelis Anosike and his brothers, did not pay for the majority shares of DTN.

Okeke held that that it was unlawful for the company to still parade itself as a shareholder of DTN.

The judge, who also reverted the shares acquired by Folio Communications, declared the company’s purpported acquisition of Daily Times to be null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

A Daily Times shareholder, D.S.V Limited, had sued the appellants at the lower court complaining of “gross and illegal sale of DTN assets”.

According to an affidavit in support of the suit, the deponent, Chinedu Oranuba, said Folio Communications had emerged, the preferred bidder for the Federal Government shares in DTN without sufficient resources to immediate payment for the shares.

He alleged that the appellant resorted to borrowing the sum of N750m for the purchase of the newspaper, adding that as soon as the Bureau of Public Enterprise handed over the business and undertakings of DTN to Folio Communications, the appellants started to sell the assets of the newspaper other shareholders.

The Federal Government, represented by NICON Insurance, was said to be having 96.05 per cent of DTN’s shares before the government’s privatisation programmed.

The appellants appealed against Justice Okeke’s judgment, praying the appellate court to set aside the judgment on the grounds that judgment was delivered without addressing the issue of jurisdiction raised by the appellant.

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