By Henry Umoru
THE Senate Tuesday gave the 7-Up Bottling Company Plc and Rite Foods Limited two weeks to go and brainstorm on the alternative dispute resolution reached at the Upper Chamber between them and report back to it.
According to the Senate, the two Companies should go as friends and compete favourably without bickering.
Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Abuja on what happened between the two companies, following the petition before the Senate, Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ondo Central said that the Committee at the end of a closed door session with the companies, opted for an alternative dispute process to save the indigenous company from dying.
Journalists took on the Chairman when the time was getting late and out of the twelve petitions slated to be heard, the Committee was already on the second to the last with the petition of the lawyers of Rite Foods Ltd against Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc and its MD/CEO, Mr. Ziad Maalouf as second to the last to ask if the companies will still be invited.
Akinyelure then spoke that to boost the economy and save the Companies, it became imperative to hold a meeting with them without the very eyes of everyone.
The expected Public Hearing by the Committee was as a result of the petition of the lawyers of Rite Foods Ltd against Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc and its MD/CEO, Mr. Ziad Maalouf, for alleged threat to the security and existence of Rites Foods Ltd, Ososa, Ogun State.
Following the petition, the matter was referred to the Senate Committee for investigations and further legislative action.
Accordingly, the Committee invited the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of 7Up Bottling Company PLC, Mr. Ziad Maalouf and Chairman of Rite Foods Ltd, Alhaji Sulaiman Adebola Adegunwa and the MD/CEO of Rite Foods Ltd, Mr. Seleem Adegunwa.
Speaking with Journalists, Senator Akinyelure said, “We have been able to sit the two management together, because we believe that the issue is a matter that can be resolved amicably through the instrument of alternative conflict resolution that will bring more result to the country other than to damage the wholly owned indigenous company that is competing favourably.
“The interpretation from the e-mail is unfounded as the e-mail has two attachments dwelling on how the could compete favorably and still take their market lead. There was never an intention to say that they want to kill the indegenous company.
“I decided to hold a closed door meeting in my office with both parties and at the end of the meeting attended by senior members of the Senate like James Manager who is also a lawyer by profession told them that.
“A company that engages 2000 Nigerians in her employ and then other hi having a higher figure of 5000 in her employ, it is our wish as a Senate to see them progress adding more value to the country than take issues that will destroy them.
“We resolved in the committee and gave them two weeks to resolve the matter together, let them be friends.”