In view of a pending case before a Federal High Court in Abuja, shareholders of embattled 9mobile, have warned those involved in an ongoing negotiation to sell the telecommunication firm not to proceed in the transaction.
Those involved in the 9mobile trade negotiation include – the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Communications Commission, Etisalat International Nigeria Limited, Karlington Telecommunications Limited, Premium Telecommunications Holdings NV and the First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
The shareholders who cautioned those involved in the trade negotiation are Afdin Ventures Limited and Dirbia Nigeria Limited. And they warned of the legal implications should the parties involved not take cognizance of a subsisting order of the court.
It would be recalled that in April 17, 2018, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, halted the planned sale of 9mobile following the opposition to the transaction raised by some aggrieved shareholders of the company.
The high court ordered all the parties involved in the transaction to maintain status quo, pending hearing and determination of the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/288/2018.
The plaintiffs- Afdin Ventures Limited and Dirbia Nigeria Limited – who claimed to be major investors in Etisalat, told the court that they were left out in the firm’s decision making process, even as they demanded for a refund of their invested funds estimated at $43,330,950.
The problem with 9mobile formally Etisalat started last year 2017, after the telco default on a $1.2 billion loan it obtained from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks led by GTBank. This caused the parent company (Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates) to pull out and relinquish its 45% stake in the company.
Following this development, the CBN restrained the Nigerian banks from taking over the telco. The CBN instead, constituted an interim board to oversee the operations of the company.
9mobile currently commands an estimated market share of 11.72% in the GSM sector.