Jimoh Ibrahim to appeal ruling sacking him as Newswatch’s owner

His businesses are troubled

A Nigerian businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, has filed a notice of appeal against a court decision Monday sacking him as the new owner of flagship magazine, Newswatch.

Following the judgement by ‎a Federal High court in favour of the minority shareholders of Newswatch Communications Limited, delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba in Lagos on Monday, the management of company filed a notice of appeal.

Reacting to the judgment, Mr. Ibrahim directed the management of the company to lay the matter before the Court of Appeal where he said he is certain of justice.

Mr. Ibrahim, in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, said Monday’s judgment lacked legal foundation and moral reasoning and that he was sure the Court of Appeal would re-establish justice and the integrity of the judiciary.

“The Federal High Court is not a final court in Nigeria and it will be appropriate to file appeal against the ruling,” Mr Ibrahim said.
Newswatch Communications also claimed that another Federal High Court had, earlier in 2013, ruled in favour of the majority shareholders.

“Hon Justice O E Abang‎ judgment of August 1, 2013 in the case of Newswatch Communication & Others Vs Ray Ekpu & Others. Suit No: FHC/L/C5/1054/2012.

“Justice Abang had declared the sales of Newswatch Communications Limited to the new investor valid and had invalidated the purported decision of the board in appointing Ray Ekpu to the board of the company,” the company said.

Justice Abang, in his judgment, held that N510million naira was paid for 51 per cent of the company shares and that the sum was transferred to Newswatch’s account where the payment to Ray Ekpu and other directors were made.

Newswatch further said Justice Abang’s judgment was admitted into evidence in the proceeding before Justice Buba.

“Despite the fact that the judgment of his learned brother, Justice Abang, was before him, Justice Buba said he could still not find any evidence of receipt of payment,” the management said.

Mr. Ibrahim has been locked in a battle for the magazine’s ownership after its founders purportedly transferred the majority shares to him in 2011.

Newswatch, established 30 years ago, was a household name in Nigeria during the military era particularly in the 80’s and 90’s.

After taking over the brand, Mr. Ibrahim, who also has interests in oil and gas, airline, insurance and other industries fired the founding editors of the paper, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade.

He also relocated the head office of the magazine and commenced a daily publication.

The lawsuit challenging his ownership of the paper has lasted since 2012.


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  • AbujaKenneth

    The court has ruled short and simple. You have option of appeal

  • Romberg

    Another awful rant. Read your statement again, you will see how shallow it reads. PDP’s 16 years are wasted years – we got nothing from it?? I don’t want to remind you, but we got debt relief. There were many policies of that government that they imported from the world bank and all around the world. For example, there was, and still is, the due process policy. There were privatisation reforms. Things moved. It’s a shame APC lied to Nigeria that nothing happened during those years. But we know things happened. There were federal government scholarships at the time. Universities got their funding improved. Minimum wage was increased few times. Monetary policies were stronger. At least there were capable hands handling the economy at the time.

    To think that, by attending climate change summit, Buhari will bring investment to Nigeria is worse than hogwash. Nigeria once hosted CHOGM – during PDP regime. What did we get from it? We never missed any since then. The result?

    By junketing around the world, embarrassing the nation with his memory sparks, no sane investor will trust a nation whose leader is not articulate on business policies. For example, infrastructure are bad. Power is bad. Road is bad. Rail is bad. Economy is bad. Yet you keep the leitmotif that your predecessor is corrupt without any evidence. Why should anyone trust you? No Nigerian leader ever admitted he is corrupt. But shortly after they leave office, they become suspects. Investors won’t bring money to help us. They will do business with us. We don’t need to travel the world begging them. They will come if we have the right policies.

    Let Buhari stay at home to fix our power and security. Will he solve this in international back to back meetings….or by cutting the size of his entourage? Totally irrelevant excuses. Let him get to work. We need policies. Real presence of government, not this lazy, empty comments on PDP.