The tussle over the transfer of shares between billionaire businessman, Oba Otudeko, teleco, Airtel Networks Limited, and Adewale Tinubu has shifted to the Federal High Court. In a suit filed by the businessman, he is seeking a $28.7 million damages against the Teleco.
The suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos and joined as co-defendants in the suit are: Jubril Adewale Tinubu, with 9,906250 shares being 9.9% voting capital, O&0 Networks limited, Delta Ministry of Finance Incorporated, Delta State Government, Corporate Affairs Commission, Econet Wireless Limited, Econet Development Corporation, Ecobank Nigeria limited, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.
The alleged transfer of shares [The Delta State role]
The Plaintiff alleged that the Delta State Government purportedly transferred their beneficial ownership in the shares of the O&0 Network Limited back to Jubril Adewale Tinubu who subsequently transferred the shares to Oceanic bank Plc as part of a process of securitization and foreclosure arising from loans advanced to him by Oceanic bank.
However, the plaintiffs further alleged that sometime in 2005, without any formal or informal notice they became aware that in 2001 and 2003, Jubril Adewale Tinubu reached secret agreements to transfer all the company’s share O&0 Network Limited in Airtel to Delta State Ministry of Finance incorporated and Delta State Government for a premium.
The 9,906,250 ordinary shares of the O&0 Network sold, in breach of the plaintiff’s pre-emptive right was valued at $4.50 thereby amounting to $44,578,125.
The plaintiffs claim against the defendants jointly and severally are as follows:
- An order mandating the defendants to pay the Plaintiffs the sum of $28,728,125 being the interest /profit accrued on the 9,906,250, ordinary shares sold in breach of the plaintiff’s pre-emptive rights in the Airtel Company.
- Interest on same at the rate of 23% per annum from 15th July 2003 till judgment is delivered.
Airtel has however denied been a privy to the facts that led up to the dispute, as claimed by the Plaintiffs in his statement of claim.
In addition, the company revealed that it is not a party to the shareholders’ agreement which forms the crux of this dispute, as the shareholder’s agreement was entered strictly among the shareholders of Airtel.