An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has voided the sale of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd (EMTS), managers of 9mobile to Teleology Nigeria limited.
The court presided over by a judge, Binta Nyako, took the decision in a ruling which reversed the state of affairs concerning 9mobile to what it was before an initial order by the court in April 2018.
The judgement followed an application by investors in the Telecommunications Company namely – Afdin Ventures Limited and Dirbia Nigeria Limited – who had approached the court after they alleged that decisions were taken without their due involvement
Mrs Nyako who had ordered parties in the matter to refrain from proceeding with further actions regarding the planned sale of the companies ruled that “any action that has been taken concerning the res (property) of this litigation from 25th day of April, which is earlier in time should revert to the position as of the res to its 25 day of April, 2018.”
The term, res, in law refers to a movable property, which may include company interest or status that has formed the subject of a given litigation in a court of law.
According to the court, the sale of the company ought not to have proceeded since the defendants were all served with the processes for that order, based on evidences before the court.
The court’s ruling implies that actions concerning the company, including the processes taken by the National Communications Commission to resolve the dispute by selling over the company; are null and of no effect, since parties had been ordered to maintain status-quo from April 25, 2018.
In a reaction, however, the management of EMTS on Thursday denied the nullification by the FHC.
According to the company; the court only decided on the issue of locus standi.
The statement was signed by the company’s legal adviser, Ore Orilade.
EMTS however noted that it would appeal the ruling.
“The Management of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. (trading as 9mobile) is aware of the news publication being circulated on online news platforms that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the sale of EMTS to Teleology Nigeria Limited. EMTS hereby states that these news reports are incorrect, misleading, mischievous and a total falsehood.
“The Federal High Court, Abuja did not nullify the sale of EMTS; the court on 1st April 2019 made an order for parties to maintain status quo as at April 25, 2018. As at the said date, EMTS (9mobile) was not a party to the suit before the court. The action before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court is not about the sale of EMTS (9mobile) but rather, the transfer of the license even without locus standi.
“EMTS (9mobile) has however appealed the order and also sought an injunction pending appeal at the Court of Appeal,” the statement said.