Ecobank Transnational Incorporated’s special purpose vehicle — O & O Networks Limited — has refuted last week’s media reports that claimed Ecobank was ordered to forfeit the sum of N22.5 billion. The money was realised from an alleged wrongful sale of shares in Airtel Networks Limited.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the company vehemently denied the reports, stating that the suit that was mentioned in the reports never proceeded to trial. Instead, May 28th, 2019 was just recently scheduled as the trial date.
“Contrary to certain press reports, there is no forfeiture order of the Federal High Court of Nigeria in these proceedings that is directed against ETI or Ecobank Nigeria Limited, and neither ETI nor Ecobank Nigeria Limited has made or is required by law to make any payment to the Federal High Court of Nigeria in relation to this long-standing litigation.
“There have been no material legal developments in the plaintiff’s substantive claim for monetary compensation since 2017.”
Since 2016, O & O Networks Limited had been defending a suit filed by Broad Communications Limited, the statement admitted.
The statement went further to clarify that the dispute stemmed from Broad Communications Limited’s “alleged right of first refusal over shares in Airtel Networks Limited that O&O Networks owned.”
“The plaintiff claimed ownership of the Airtel shares based on its right of first refusal. In 2017, the plaintiff amended its claim to seek monetary compensation of USD equivalent of N10bn (approximately US$28m) in place of its claim of ownership of the Airtel shares.”
Nairametrics reported last week that a court had ordered that the sum of N22.5 billion be transferred into the court’s account pending a final judgement. The money was realised from the alleged wrongful sale of shares by O & O Networks Limited to Bharti Airtel.
Our earlier report also suggested that O & O Networks/Ecobank will bear the risks emanating from the unauthorised transaction.