Jimoh Ibrahim sacks Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, others from Newswatch Board

Jimoh Ibrahim

Monday Ateboh

Controversial businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, has announced the removal of the founding editors of Newswatch – Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade – from the Board of Directors of the company.

Mr. Ibrahim said in a statement Mr. Ekpu and his colleagues were no longer eligible to sit on the board of the company following the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) they signed when they conceded majority stake in the company to him..

The statement, which put the collective share held by the four journalists at 6.1 per cent, said by law, an individual must hold a minimum of  10 per cent of a company’s total share to be eligible to sit on its board.

“They are knowledgeable and old enough to know the implication of the documents they signed and as such cannot eat their cake and have it,” Mr. Ibrahim said.

Mr. Ibrahim said having voluntarily retired from the company  with their benefits paid in full, Mr. Ekpu and his colleagues could only be allowed to sit on the company’s board if they are able to purchase more of the firm’s unalloted  shares.

Mr. Ibrahim had on August 7 announced the suspension of the nearly three-decade old magazine for “corporate surgery”.

But Mr. Ekpu and his colleagues immediately stood up to the businessman, threatening to wrest control of the company from him.

They accused Mr. Ibrahim of having violated the terms of his majority shareholding, and signaled they might seek to wrest control of the magazine from the businessman.

They said the decision was never discussed at the company’s board meeting, and that they were shocked to read about it in the news media.

“These decisions break the spirit and letter of the understanding and agreement we had with Mr. Ibrahim concerning the future of our beloved Newswatch,” a statement signed by Messrs Ekpu, Agbese, Mohammed and Akinrinade, said. “We believe the decisions to be illegal and clearly counter-productive.”

They called for a reversal of the decisions and said they were “consulting the other stakeholders on the next steps to take to ensure Newswatch is not destroyed.”

The effrontery of the paper’s founding directors irked Mr. Ibrahim deeply, making him to go for their jugular.


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  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    no surprise here.while I feel sorry for Ekpu and co, at the end of the day a man who buys a property is free to deal with it as he sees fit. It is not up to the old owners to complain afterwards.

  • Musbau Abdulazeez

    Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Muhammed should not shed crocodile tears over the humiliation meted to them by the cunning businessman Jimoh Ibrahim. They are the worst betrayers in the noble profession of journalism the world over. In fact those scums are servants of satan here on earth. They are the grim undertakers of great and noble causes. First, they did not cooperated with DIG Chris Omeben (rtd) on the investigation of the murder of the late intellectual journalist Dele Giwa whom they claim was their friend. After an apparent complicity of the Ibrahim Babangida military dictatorship in the murder by parcel bomb of Giwa, Ekpu and his fellow travelers became very intimate with IBB jettisoning the respected principle and integrity with which Newswatch was known. They became government contractors and stabbed the legal icon Fawehinmi in the back in the struggle to bring the murderers to justice. They shamelessly distanced themselves from Dele Giwa’s family while they and their family members went about enjoying the legacy they and the late Giwa toiled for and for which Giwa paid the supreme price. They will forever regret their actions because as far as I am concerned Newswatch is dead because no sane Nigerian will spend his hard earned money to buy a magazine published by one of the tormentors of the Nigerian society as represented by the scoundrel called Jimoh Ibrahim. And if I may ask, where is Giwa’s share of the proceeds of the purchase of Newswatch by Ibrahim? Has Ekpu and co swallowed same as they swallowed their friendship with the late Dele Giwa? Aftre all Dele Giwa owned 15% stake in the venture. Answer now Ekpu , Agbese, and Mohammecd? Or you await the very harsh judgment of history.

  • Ennkay

    Is there no provision for the rights of minority shareholders in Nigerian corporate statutes? Even though Ray Ekpu and his friends were clearly outsmarted by a street-wise Jimoh, this issue has wider implications for commercial practice in Nigeria. The Nigerian business environment should have no room for business hooligans!

  • moleteking

    Will it surprise anyone to know that Jimoh Ibrahima is the Chairman of the Board of Corporate Affairs Commission?