Nairametrics| After over a year of board room crisis, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to step in and appoint an interim board. The regulator yesterday issued a press release to that effect.
Here is an excerpt of the press release
“To forestall chaos in the organization, the Commission and other distinguished personalities, had previously held various meetings with the existing Board towards resolving the crises.
“But, the company continued to be plagued with unhealthy Corporate Governance practices, including disregard to the Code of Corporate Governance for public companies,”
“Having failed to resolve its lingering crisis, the Commission in exercise of the powers conferred on it by the Investment and Securities Act, 2007 to protect investors and the integrity of the securities market, hereby approves the appointment of an interim Board for the company with Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN as interim Chairman”
- There are two factions in the company. On one side was Ms Grace Ibru and Mabel Ibru while on the other side was Maiden Ibru, the widow of late Guardian Publisher, Alex.
- Maiden Ibru moved to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) while the other faction led by the hotel chairman, Goodie Ibru, dismissed resolutions from the meeting as null, void and of no effect.
- Ms Grace Ibru and Mabel Ibru had obtained a restraining order against Mrs Maiden Ibru, Alurum Investment Ltd, OMA Investment Ltd, Dadifol Ltd, RFC Ltd from holding the Extra Ordinary meeting.
- Nevertheless, on December 1, 2014, Mrs. Maiden Ibru moved to effect a change in the management of Ikeja Hotels Plc by publishing a notice for an EGM of the company.
- Maiden Ibru and some shareholders claimed the court order was obtained from a lower court and so disobeyed the ruling.
- The EGM went ahead and Mr Ibru was sacked by the Maiden Ibru faction and their shareholders.
- In January 2015, Justice Muhammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court in Lagos had upheld the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) convened by three shareholders – Alurum Investments Limited, Dadifoll Limited and RFC Limited
- However, on 20th February 2017, Goodie Ibru resigned from the company, citing the need for the next generation to take over. This was however, after the company had posted heavy losses back to back, continuing the Ibru’s tradition of poor management, as exhibited in the examples of Oceanic Bank and Aero Contractors.
- Shareholders of the company also expressed satisfaction after the sacking of Goodie Ibru from the board of the company.
- Despite being faced with a court order, shareholders believed that they had a superior court order from the Federal High Court Lagos, thus they were in the right legal stead to reject the court injunction obtained from another high court, this time in Abuja.
- The shareholders had also appointed Olumide Braithwaite and Tunde Sarumi, as directors of the company.
- The shareholder’s association also accused the regulating agencies of failing on their responsibilities, saying members were determined to remove the virus that was eating deep into the company.
- The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a statement in 2015, saying it was “keenly monitoring developments” and would intervene in the fund in due course.
- They also went on to allay shareholder’s concerns insisting that their investments are safe.
- However, due to the discordance in the boardroom, the Nigerian Stock Exchange suspended trading on the shares of company in order “to safeguard the investments of shareholders of Ikeja Hotel Plc following the continued dispute between the major shareholders which has negatively impacted on the company’s governance structure”.
- SEC this week finally took the decision to approve the appointment of an interim Board for the company with Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN as interim Chairman