Court Nullifies Order Approving Interim Management Of Telecommunication Company, 9mobile

9 Mobile.OnoBello

Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos has nullified the ex parte order approving the appointment of an interim board for Nigerian telecom operator, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service, EMTS, Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunications service operator, which until last year was operated as Etisalat but now runs as 9Mobile.

The nullification followed the dismissal of the Preliminary Objection filed by United Capital Trustees Ltd in response to the application by Spectrum Wireless, a shareholder of EMTS.

Spectrum had claimed that the order was obtained by misrepresentation of facts that alienated its interests in the EMTS saying its application was for a nullification of the ex parte order by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court.

The interim board and executive management of the EMTS were constituted in June 2017 but the order approving its reconstitution was given in July.

According to THEWILL, the Interim Board of EMTS, which has the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), had recently received bids from about 5 bidders in its intended sale of the company which was to be concluded by 31 December, 2017, but recently moved to 16 January, 2018.

This was because the Etisalat Group, which held 45 per cent of the shares in Etisalat Nigeria and 25 per cent of the preference shares, had earlier relinquished its stake in the Nigerian firm over $1.2 billion debt being owed 13 Nigerian banks leading to the constitution of an interim board by the CBN and NCC after it announced a name change to 9Mobile.

However, solicitor to Spectrum Wireless Communication Limited in a public notice warned that by virtue of the said judgment, Dr. Joseph Nnanna, Oluseyi Bickersteth, Ken Igbokwe, Funke Ighodaro and Boye Olusanya as security trustee nominee of the board of Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service has been nullified and the order appointing them vacated.

The Solicitors warned that any institution or company who transacts business for the purpose of sale or acquisition of EMTS or 9Mobile does so at his or her own risk.

Justice Buba in his judgment said that the motion is struck out having set aside the order adding that “the respondent shall reverse all steps taken by it since the order was nullity.”

Meanwhile, Telecommunications giant, Globacom, has distanced itself from media reports insinuating that it was the preferred bidder to acquire the telecommunications company, 9Mobile.

In a press statement issued in Lagos by the company said: “Globacom has not acquired 9Mobile, as widely reported in the media.

“We are bound by the terms of the acquisition process, as stipulated by the authorities handling it, and we will not in any way sway or deviate from the rules.”

“We repose confidence in Barclays Africa, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which are handling the process that will lead to the emergence of a new owner for the company.




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