By Innocent Anaba
LAGOSâ€”A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has restrained Fidelis Anosike, his brother Noel and their company, Folio Communications Limited, from tampering with the assets and properties of the Daily Times, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
Justice O. E. Abang who handed down the order also restrainedÂ the 1st and 2nd defendants, Mikano International Limited, Citco Communications Limited and their agents from encroaching,Â trespassing or taking possession of the assets and property of Daily TimesÂ pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The Court also granted leave to the plaintiffs (Daily Times and DSV Limited) restraining Mikano, Citco and their agents from transferring or depositing as security for credit or in any manner invalidating the Daily Times documents concerning the parcel of land and buildings in the estate.
He restrained the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and his agents from recognizing, approving, registering and perfecting or granting of consent to any purported alienation, sale assignment or transfer of Daily Timesâ€™ title, rights and interests in the said properties.
The court also ordered the applicants to file an undertaking to indemnify the defendants in the event that the order ought not to have been made. It later adjourned the case to April 21, 2010 for hearing of the motion on notice.
The judgeâ€™s orders were sequel to the ex-parte application filed by the Daily Times and DSV Limited and argued by their counsel, Mr. L. A. Idu.
In an affidavit in support of the ex-parte motion sworn to by Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah, he said as a director in Daily Times, he was becoming increasingly alarmed at the spate of alienations and waste of the assets and properties of the publishing company by the Anosike brothers and their company, Folio Communications.
He stated that in order to salvage what was left of the assets and properties, he took the initiative to warn the third parties against entering into transactions with any of the trio including publishing notices of caveat emptor in newspapers by the 2nd plaintiff where he is also a director.
The senator revealed that one of the assets of Daily Times they sought to protect and preserve was situated at Plots G1 and 6, 11 and 12, Daily Times Estate (formerly Wemabod Estate), Ashogbon Close, Off Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, adding that when Mikano and Citco developed interest in the property and began discussion with the Anosike brothers on how to acquire same at a gross undervalue, he and the 2nd applicant quickly took steps to warn all parties to desist from the transaction because they were not mandated by the Board of Directors to sell same.
Obiorah stated that by a letter dated December 31, 2009, the 2nd applicant through its solicitors, warned Mikano to stay clear of any of the properties belonging to Daily Times and not get involved in any scheme contrived by the defendants.
He said the letter did not only emphasize the fact that the properties were not for sale any price, but made it clear to Mikano and Citco that current market value was N1.6billion, adding that they also made it clear to them that Cadbury and Coca Cola indicated their readiness to pay N1.6billion but were pursuing their bids because of the various caveats and pending suits.