14 February 2013

Nigeria: Court Continues Hearing On Newswatch Directors, Ibrahim's Suit

Lagos — Hearing in the suit by two former directors of Newswatch Communications Limited, Mr. Nuhu Wada Aruda and Professor Jibril Aminu, against Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, continued, Wednesday, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Aruda and Aminu, who are representing minority shareholders of the company, had accused the new management team led by Ibrahim of assuming control of the company "illegally."

Respondents in the matter are, Newswatch Communications Ltd, Global Media Mirror Ltd, Dr. Ibrahim, Newswatch Newspapers Ltd and the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.

A mild drama played out in court, at the resumed hearing in the matter, during the cross-examination of Aruda, as he was asked to point to any document, among all the documents the petitioners had tendered as exhibits that established he was a director in Newswatch Communications.

Aruda collected a bundle of documents that had earlier in the day been tendered though him as exhibits by his lawyer and began to go through them.

Moments later, he admitted there was no single document among all the exhibits that showed his name as a director, but insisted that he was a shareholder and director of the Newswatch, documents or no documents.

Earlier while being led in evidence by his lawyer, Aruda told the court that he was invited at the inception of the Newswatch and that after meeting with Dele Giwa and other founding members, he had paid N100, 000 to obtain five per cent share in the then Newswatch Company.

He added that he was also made one of the directors of the company and that he maintained this directorship until March 5, 2011 when the company affairs passed to a new management led by Ibrahim.

Meanwhile, trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, who restated his commitment to see that the case was concluded "within one month" adjourned the case till February 26 and 27, 2013, for continuation of trial.

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