Daily Trust (Abuja)

1 February 2013

Nigeria: Newswatch - Court Dismisses Ibrahim's Objection

Lagos — A Lagos Federal High Court yesterday stopped Jimoh Ibrahim from challenging the suit filed against him by some aggrieved shareholders over the acquisition of shares of Newswatch Communications.

Presiding Judge Justice Ibrahim Buba Lagos said in a ruling that the preliminary objection filed by Ibrahim and others to challenge the suit was misconceived and lacked merit.

He dismissed the objection of Ibrahim and fixed February 1 for ruling on a motion for interlocutory injunction seeking to stop further publication of Newswatch Daily pending the determination of the suit.

The minority shareholders, Nuhu Wada Aruda and Professor Jibril Aminu, had filed the suit to challenge the method through which Ibrahim acquired the purported majority shares of Newswatch, and his style of leading the company so far.

The shareholders had prayed the court to set aside the contract through which Ibrahim purportedly assumed majority shareholding in the company.

They alleged that Ibrahim fraudulently acquired the majority shares of the company and had been running the affairs of Newswatch in a manner detrimental to the interest of other shareholders.

The defendants had argued in their objection that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit because there was a clause in the agreement between parties that any dispute on Newswatch should be handled by the Lagos High Court.

But Justice Buba held that the provisions in the agreement between parties could not override the constitutional provisions which empower the Federal High Court to adjudicate on disputes emanating from the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) as in the instant case.

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