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Jimoh Ibrahim Loses Newswatch Magazines

Jimoh Ibrahim Loses Newswatch Magazines

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday nullified the sale of Newswatch magazine to businessman, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim.

The judge awarded N15.7 million damages against him and ordered the stoppage of further publication of Daily Newswatch.

The court quashed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA), which transferred ownership of Newswatch Communications Limited to Ibrahim.

Justice Buba upheld all the prayers of the minority shareholders, saying Ibrahim and others could not prove that they paid for the shares.

He said: “They have not shown how and when they paid for the shares, and nothing in paragraphs 11 and 18A of the respondents’ statement of defence showed how they paid for the shares.

“There is no evidence in Paragraph 3.0 that the respondents paid on or before May 5, 2011, as stated, as they have only given their interpretation to that paragraph.

“Whatever money they spent was on Daily Mirror and this was confirmed by DW2 (second defence witness) during cross-examination. The N510 million was supposed to have been paid for shares and not for any other purpose; there is no evidence to show that the shares have been paid for.

“Besides, it was a company called Global Fleet that paid the N14 million, not any of the respondents who contracted with the first respondent.”

The judge granted the plaintiffs’ reliefs, namely: “An order setting aside the contract entered into between the first and second respondent companies by virtue of document, titled: Share Purchase Agreement between the first and second respondents executed in May, 2011.

“A consequential order setting aside the Form CAC2 (Statement of Share Capital and Return of Allotment of Shares) of the first respondent company dated August 27, 2012 and presented for filing by Gloria A. Ukeje.

“An order directing the second and third respondents, jointly and severally, to pay special damages amounting to N15.7 million to the first respondent company, being the loss of business profits since August 2012 till October 2012, when its operations were unilaterally shut down.”

The court also held that the petitioners discharged the burden placed on them by proving their case, while the first to fourth respondents failed to do so.

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