4 February 2013

Nigeria: Court Refuses to Stop Publication of Newswatch Magazine

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday refused to grant an interlocutory injunction to stop the publication of the Newswatch magazine.

The injunction was sought by some minority shareholders in the Newswatch Communications Ltd through their lawyer, Mr Adekunle Oyesanya.

Oyesanya filed the application along with a substantive suit seeking to stop the transfer of the ownership of Newswatch Communications Ltd to a business mogul, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim.

The Newswatch Communications Ltd, Global Media Mirror Ltd, Newswatch Newspapers Ltd and the Corporate Affairs Commission are defendants in the suit.

Buba held that the court would proceed with the hearing of the substantive suit.

He said the court did not grant the injunction because the plaintiffs failed to show special grounds that entitled them to the order.

The judge, therefore, ordered an accelerated hearing in the substantive suit, and promised that the case would be determined in a month's time.

"I have no doubt that the applicants would be adequately compensated by damages if they eventually win their substantive case," Buba ruled.

He did not award any cost.

The judge adjourned the case to Feb. 11 for hearing in the substantive suit.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the shareholders, Mr Nuhu Wada Aruwa and Prof. Jibril Aminu, are seeking an order to quash a share purchase agreement which transferred ownership of the Newswatch Communications Ltd to Jimoh Ibrahim, one of its directors.

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