Federal High Court in Abuja has halt the planned sale of the embattled telecommunication firm, 9Mobile, following a legal action taken by angry and aggrieved shareholders of the company.
The court ordered all the parties to maintain status quo, pending hearing and determination of the suit.
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 defendants involve were Karlington Telecommunications Ltd, Premium Telecommunications Holdings NV, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Central Bank of Nigeria, Etisalat International Nigeria Ltd and Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
Afdin Ventures Limited and Dirbia Nigeria Limited said that the planned sale of Etisalat (now 9mobile) to Smile.Com and Glo Network, without paying them the money with which they bought their shares, is unlawful. And therefore urge the court to award N1billion in general damages against the defendants and in their favour.
According to him, “In 2015, the 1st, 2nd and 5th defendants took several loans from 13 Nigerian banks with a view to expanding and boosting their telecommunication business, but that the money was not properly utilised, leading to heavy indebtedness on the 1st, 2nd and 5th defendants.”
He added that, owing to the resultant heavy indebtedness, the 1st and 2nd defendants rebranded the 5th defendant (Etisalat) and changed its name to 9Mobile with a view to selling it off and obtaining money to pay its numerous debts.