Jimoh Ibrahim wins round one in Newswatch suit

Jimoh Ibrahim

The former directors had filed an application to stop a suit instituted by the Jimoh Ibrahim led management.

A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday struck out an application by four former directors of Newswatch, seeking to stop a suit instituted by the Jimoh Ibrahim led management.

Newswatch Communications Limited had brought the substantive suit praying the court to declare that the four ex-directors: Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade, have ceased to be directors of the company.

The company is also asking the court to declare that the ex-directors have no competence to declare a trade dispute under the Share Purchase Agreement between them and the company.

The defendants contended that the plaintiffs had no locus standi to file the suit which they argued disclosed no reasonable cause of action.

Justice Okon Abang, in his ruling, struck out the application of the said former directors on all grounds, stressing that it was lacking in merit.

Mr. Abang said that the plaintiff has both locus standi and reasonable cause of action.

On the issue of locus standi, the judge held that the defendants were wrong because if the act of a defendant is likely to affect a plaintiff one way or the other, such plaintiff has locus to bring the matter to court.

On the issue of cause of action, the judge said, “A cause of action is said to exist where there is an issue to be determined.

“From the originating summons, there is prima facie inference that there are issues to be determined.

“Without dwelling on the issue reserved for substantive matter, I hold that a reasonable cause of action has been disclosed,” Justice Abang ruled.

The judge therefore dismissed the objection of the defendant and adjourned the case to March 18, for hearing of the substantive suit.

Justice Abang also awarded a cost of N15,000 in favour of the plaintiff.


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