A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has quashed the Share Purchase Agreement which transferred ownership of Newswatch Communications Limited to Global Media Mirror Limited owned by businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim.
The court also awarded N15.7 million damages against Jimoh Ibrahim and the other respondents in the suit.
Presiding Justice Ibrahim Buba also made an order halting further publications of Newswatch Daily, among other reliefs sought by the petitioners.
The minority shareholders who petitioned were Mr. Nuhu Aruwa and Prof. Jibril Aminu, while the respondents were Newswatch Communications Limited, Global Media Mirror Limited, Jimoh Ibrahim, Newswatch Newspapers and Corporate Affairs Commission.
Justice Buba, in his judgment, upheld all the prayers of the minority shareholders, who had filed the suit to challenge the validity of the takeover of the company. The court held that the respondents could not prove that they paid up for the shares.
The judge, therefore, stated that the case of the petitioners had merits. “The court grants all the reliefs as set out on the petition at the inception of this case as follows: an order setting aside the contract entered into between the first and second respondent companies by virtue of document titled “Share Purchase Agreement” between Newswatch Communications Limited “Seller” and Global Media Mirror Limited “Buyer” and executed by the parties therein on or about May, 2011.
The court held that it had come to the inevitable conclusion that the petitioners have discharged the burden placed on them and have proved their case, while the first to fourth Respondents have failed woefully to discharge the burden placed on them.
Mr. Nuhu Aruwa and Prof. Jibril Aminu, had filed the action seeking for an interlocutory injunction restraining the first to fourth respondents Newswatch by themselves, their agents or privies from publishing and selling to the public or causing to be published and sold to the public a daily and weekend newspaper known as Daily Newswatch, Saturday Newswatch and Sunday Newswatch, as advertised in the National Mirror newspaper of January 15, 2013 pending the hearing and determination of the substantial suit.