A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, gave an order of interim injunction restraining the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, from using his office to assist cash-strapped government contractor, Emeka Offor, to sell off assets of Centrepoint Network Limited, a company owned by his deceased wife, Joy Chukwureh-Offor. The court also restrained Mr. Offor from taking over the management of the company pending the hearing and determination of the company's motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
Hearing of the motion has been adjourned to January 19, 2018.
In the case (Suit No. FHC/L/CS/09/2018), the children of the deceased, who are directors and shareholders of the company, asked the court to stop the IGP, the first defendant, and officers under his control from assisting Mr. Offor, the second defendant, to sell properties of the company, including its office. Joined as the third defendant is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
In her ruling, Justice Hadiza Shagari held that there is a real and imminent threat to the company's existence, operations, management and properties by Mr. Offor, who is aided by officers and men under the IGP's control. She equally held that there are serious issues to be determined in the substantive suit, adding that the parties in the suit must maintain status quo pending the determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction.
Justice Shagari also held that the balance of convenience is in favor of the applicants, stating that the award of compensatory damages will be inadequate recompense if the order sought was not granted. In an affidavit in support of its application, Centrepoint Network Limited stated that it provides Information Technology services to British High Commission, Argentine Embassy, American Embassy, South African High Commission and the Ministry of Defence among other clients. The affidavit, deposed to by Mr. Femi Adenitire of Babajide Koku and Co, lawyers to the plaintiff, stated that Mr. Offor had an intimate relationship to the deceased, who was the Managing Director of Centrepoint Network Limited until her death on October 10, 2017.
The company's directors and shareholders at incorporation and till date, the affidavit stated, have been the deceased and her children, Akumbu Obioha, Sopuluchuku Offor and Nnedinma Obioha. According to the company, the five children of the deceased are close sisters, but Mr. Offor, who is not a director, is working to split them so as to be able to plunder their mother's assets.
Mr. Offor, the plaintiff averred, met with the directors and shareholders of the company as well as other relatives of the deceased on December 24 2017, three days after the funeral of the late Managing Director. At the meeting, Mr. Offor declared that he would sell all the properties of the deceased, sell all her companies and give the proceeds to charity, irrespective of the fact that the company is a distinct legal entity from the former Managing Director. Mr. Offor boasted that he will use the Police to carry out his plan, saying that he is sufficiently influential to make the Police do his bidding.
Two days after the meeting, Mr. Offor gave teeth to his threat, storming the home of the deceased in Orodo, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, with 50 armed policemen. The policemen assisted Mr. Offor to break into the private room of the deceased, ransacked the place and in the process, assaulted the children of the former Managing Director, who are all female. In particular, Mr. Offor slapped Akumbu Obioha, the medical doctor daughter of the deceased, for begging him to stop beating Chiemeka Nmesoma Joy Offor, her sister. The company, therefore, asked the court to protect its operations and staff, saying if Mr. Offor and the IGP are not restrained, the staff will lose their jobs and the company will slide into insolvency.
The company further averred that its directors are now living in fear of their lives and anxiety over its future, given the threats and actions of Mr. Offor. According to the company, letters of administration have not been issued in respect of the estate of the deceased.