The transfer of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, to Calabar Division of the court, has stalled commencement of hearing in a suit filed against an oil firm – Green Energy International Ltd and its chairman, Prof. Anthony Adegbulugbe.
Two aggrieved directors of the company – Dr. Bunu Alibe and Mr. Ayo Olojede, had filed a petition in the court, alleging injustice and demanding N250million compensation.
Justice Ojukwu, on January 19 before the transfer, adjourned the matter to enable counsel to the petitioners, Alade Agbabiaka (SAN) and that of the respondents, Benbella Anachebe (SAN), to regularize their processes for commencement of hearing.
However, the respondents/applicants (the oil firm and its chairman, Prof Adegbulugbe), had earlier, through a motion-on-notice filed on March 19, by their counsel, Yusuf Ali (SAN), P.I.N Ikwueto (SAN) and Ben Anachebe (SAN), asked the court to dismiss the suit for incompetence and want of jurisdiction.
Their application hinged on the fact that the complaints of the former directors in their petition are predicated on matters of internal management of the company and code of Corporate Governance being inapplicable to the oil firm as a private company.
According to the application, the two former directors were seeking to cancel a $300 million loan-financing package being processed for the expansion of the company.
With the absence of the judge however, ruling on the application and commencement of hearing on the substantive suit filed by the two aggrieved directors have been adjourned until May 4.
The court had, on March 2, dismissed the motion of the sacked directors, which sought to discharge the ex parte order of the court asking all parties to attend a meeting held on November 12, 2020 to “afford parties a happy medium” to resolve their differences.
Minority shareholders disobeyed, claiming it was a breach of their fundamental rights.
The court, in its ruling on the application for order discharging the exparte order granted on 4 November, 2020, said the application by the defendant/applicant had become academic, having expired and the order having been implemented by the plaintiff.
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