The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday stopped planned sales of the troubled 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 and have demanded for a refund of their invested funds estimated at $43,330,950.
The shareholders had, through their counsel, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) approached the court via a motion ex-parte marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/288/2018.
Cited as defendants in the suit are Karlington Telecommunications Ltd., Premium Telecommunications Holdings NV, First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Central Bank of Nigeria, Etisalat International Nigeria Ltd., and Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, after hearing the ex-parte motion, ruled that “an order is made for the maintenance of status quo as at today.”
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 averred 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.”