Some shareholders of Etisalat (now 9Mobile) have cautioned against the sale of the firm in view of a pending case before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and others are involved in a negotiation to sell the telecommunication firm.
The shareholders – Afdin Ventures Limited and Dirbia Nigeria Limited – warned the CBN and others of the legal consequences of selling Etisalat, despite a subsisting court order halting further activities regarding the sale of the firm.
Afdin and Dirbia, promoted by businessman Dahiru Barau Mangal, issued the warning yesterday in letters written by their lawyer, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) to the six parties involved in the transaction,who are also defendants in the pending case.
The parties are:: the CBN, Etisalat International Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Karlington Telecommunications Limited, Premium Telecommunications Holdings NV and First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Afdin and Dirbia said their letters were informed by recent media report, credited to Boye Olusanya (CEO, 9mobile) to the effect that “9mobile’s board was pleased with the progress made thus far and expects the acquisition process to be concluded as soon as possible.”
Shortly after Afdin and Dirbia filed the suit, Justice Binta Nyako, on April 17, gave an order, directing “the maintenance of status quo as at today.”
In the suit, Afdin and Dirbia, who claimed to be major investors in the telecommunication firm, said they were left out in the firm’s decision-making and want a refund of their invested funds estimated at $43,330,950.
Part of one of the letters by Magaji reads: “Recall that Hon. Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court No. 4, Abuja made an interim order in suit: FHC/ABJ/CR/288/2018, Afdin Ventures Ltd & 1 other v. Karington Telecommunications Ltd & 6 others, restraining your office andother defendants from selling Etisalat Nigeria Ltd (now 9mobile) pending the outcome of the suit.
“Upon service of the enrolled order on you, your office entered appearance and filed a statement of defence to the suit. Ogunmuyiwa Balogun, Esq made several appearance on behalf of your office in court.
“Unfortunately, despite being aware of the subsisting court order, your office and the other defendants herein went ahead and concluded plans to sell off Etisalat Nigeria Limited (now 9mobile) in fragrant disregard to the subsisting order of court.
“We have our clients’ further instructions to write and warn you of the consequences of disobeying lawful orders of court.
“You are implored to put a hold on the transfer of ownership of 9mobile to any other investor pening the determination of the suit, failing which we shall be compelled to issue and serve you with Forms 48 and 49 with a view to commencing contempt proceedings against you in accordance with our clients’ instruction.”