A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday nullified the acquisition of the majority shares of Daily Times of Nigeria, DTN,Â by Folio Communications Limited, owned by Fidelis Anosike, declaring the acquisition as null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
Trial judge in the matter, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, in his judgement in the suit by a shareholder of the newspaper house, D.S.V Limited, who had complained of gross and illegal sale of DTN assets, held that Folio Communications, did not pay for the majority shares of DTN and that it was unlawful for the company to still parade itself as a shareholder of DTN.
and his brothers pounced on the assets of DTN to the detriment of other shareholders of the newspaper house, sold the shares of DTN in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to settle part of the loan secured in acquiring DTNâ€™s shares, adding that Anosike also disposed off the property of the company situated at Cold Harbour Lane, London and diverted the proceeds.
According to the plaintiff,Â several other assets of DTN were also sold out at ridiculous prices. But before judgement was delivered yesterday, the defendants brought a motion, seeking the leave of court to file a further and better affidavit, which was, however, opposed by the plaintiffâ€™s counsel, who argued that the motion was a ploy to arrest the judgment of the court, a request the trial judge granted.
The court in its judgement, held that there was a reasonable cause of action in the matter, further notingÂ that it was worrisome that Folio communications took a loan to pay for the shares of DTN.
The court said, â€œthere is no doubt that this is a worrisome case that Folio Communications took a loan to pay for the shares of Daily Times of Nigeria. I find great merit in the plaintiffâ€™s (D.S.V Limited) case and I accordingly grant the following relieves soughtâ€