The management of Folio Communications Plc, publishers of Daily Times Newspapers has said that it would continue to legally resist any attempt at claiming ownership of the paper.
Folio was reacting to information it received that documents were allegedly being circulated in some sections of the media claiming that Folio acquired Daily Times with forged documents.
A statement by the Managing Editor of Daily Times Newspaper, Mr. Bonaventure Melah, said the current case filed by the Police and on which ground the fake news was being bandied around, is about the 15th of its kind.
His words: “This case is not the first, not the second, not the third but about the 15th of the cases Sen Ikechukwu Obiorah instituted against Folio Communications Plc over the ownership of Daily Times. They have gone from High Court to Magistrate Court, back to High Court and to the Magistrate Court. Today, they will run to the Federal High Court, tomorrow, they will run to Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High court and then to Magistrate Court in Mpape, a suburb of Abuja and to Magistrate Court in Igbosere, Lagos.
“This same case has gone to the Court of Appeal in 2010 and the court ruled that the matter was purely civil with the no criminal ingredients. Inspectors General of Police have investigated the case severally and said that it is a civil case. But, IkechukwuObiorah, finding a willing ally in the current leadership of the police has been using the Police to intimidate Folio and its management.
“In the first place, privatisation is different from commercialisation. Federal Government of Nigeria through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) advertised to sell Daily Times. Folio, like many other companies, bided to acquire Daily Times and after very rigorous but transparent process, Folio emerged as the preferred bidder. Folio went ahead to fully pay for Daily Times and the government duly handed over the company to Folio.
“Privatisation is about offer, acceptance, and payment. It is not commercialisation where conditions are stated. Privatisation is buying and selling. Government advertised, Folio bided and won and went ahead to pay in full the value of the transaction. What has forging of documents got to do with the business? Who forged the document and for what? Or are they saying that the money Folio paid and which government received was fake or forged money?’’