Jimoh Ibrahim not owner of Newswatch – Founders

Jimoh Ibrahim
Jimoh Ibrahim [Photo Credit: Twitter - Barr. Jimoh Ibrahim @JimohIbrahimOFR]

Four founding members of Newswatch Communications Limited have faulted claims by billionaire businessman, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, that he owns the paper.

The founders, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade said Mr. Ibrahim does not own the newspaper because he never paid for the 51 per cent shares of the company, he now claims ownership of.

They said this in a statement details of which was published by ThisDay.

The founders claimed in the statement that Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim on October 31, 2017 “planted in several newspapers” a court decision that took place seven months ago, precisely on March 27, 2017.

The founders noted that Mr. Jimoh had since 2011 done everything possible to falsely claim 51 per cent shares of Newswatch Communications Limited, “which he never paid for.”

Mr. Ibrahim’s reaction could not be immediately gotten as at the time of filing the report.

The statement reads: “The judgement, which was given based on the fact that the judges misdirected themselves on the facts of the matter, has since been contested by two of the shareholders of the company.

“On May 5, 2011, the directors of Newswatch Communications Limited signed a Share Purchase Agreement with Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim and his Global Media Mirror Limited for the sale of 51 per cent shares of Newswatch Communications Limited to him and his company. The share purchase price was N510 million which he was to pay not later than May 5, 2011, the date of the completion board meeting.

“Ibrahim never paid the said N510 million before that day; he never paid it on that day and he never paid it after that day. Up till today, he has not paid for the said shares. But he has tried by hook and crook to own the shares of a company he never paid for.

“He took four of us-Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade-to the Federal High Court in Lagos, claiming that we had retired from the company on May 5, 2011, and we were no longer directors of the company.

“The truth of the matter is that we retired from the company and were reappointed as non-executive directors at the very meeting in which he was chosen as chairman of the board of the company.”

They noted that Mr. Ibrahim announced their reappointment as the company directors in the news room and published same National Mirror, a newspaper he owns, the next day being May 6, 2011.

“For the 15 months that the magazine was published with him as the chairman, our names were listed every week as directors of the company,” they said.

Worried about the Nigerian judicial system, they raised optimism in challenging the latest judgement.

“We believe that despite the rot in the Nigeria system, there are still judges with a conscience who will not sell their conscience for a mess of pottage,” the statement said.


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  • Frank Bassey

    Well-meaning Nigerians know Newswatch founders will get judgement at last. But they failed to manage their success, and that was their undoing. Abroad, successful newspapers and magazines outlive their founders, Barely two decades, the founders went into the search for comfort and materialism and that was how the brilliant dream died. That they did not know who Jimoh Ibrahim is before choosing to court him, is a huge dent on their intellectual capacity.

  • 45Degree

    If he never paid for his 51% ownership of Newswatch, how in the world did you guys come to a conclusion that “…at the very meeting in which he was chosen as chairman of the board of the company.” IF you signed ownership of your company to him when you haven’t receive payment shows you guys state of mind. Someone is keeping some information from the public.

    This is a “seller remorse.”

  • Toughie Man

    The Washington Times, Newsweek, The Times, are all internationals magazines and newspapers that have passed through different managements and are still waxing stronger and stronger even in the internet age. Newswatch, made us proud as Nigerians: courageous, forthright, investigative, and a trailblazer in magazine and newsprint journalism. Where is Dele Giwa? We still remember him with pains. Ray, Mohammed, Dan and Soji, allowed themselves to be used and dumped by Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim whose antecedents and devious business trademarks are all well known. Unfortunately, too bad.

  • FineBoy

    Too much academic for these four dudes.

    You made him Chairman without shares, you’re tired as Executive Directors and accepted non executive position.

    Where u guys drugged?

    Ownership is by law not emotions.

  • Jimoh, the errand boy of Ali Modu who subverted PDP in Ondo State. His attempt to play his shrewd game at Newswatch will meet his match.

  • JasV

    Mesh of porridge NOT Mess of porridge please