Thursday, October 29, 2015 12:57 pm
AKIN KUPONIYI/Court Correspondent
Shareholders of a company jointly formed with former Nigerian International, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha and his wife Nkechi, are back in court to enforce a judgment on corporate governance, given 20 months ago. The litigants claimed Okocha has been dribbling them over its enforcement.
The firm is known as Jay-Jay Okocha Group West Africa Limited.
Judgment was delivered on Monday 24th of February,2014 by Justice Ibrahim Buba
The litigants are Friday Nwankwo-Kuja, Ijeoma Kuja, Nwankwo Kuja James Chinedu,Nwankwo-Kuja Daniel Chukwudi, Nwakwo Kuja Mary Chioma, and two companies, African Shelter and Sports Consult Limited.
Friday Nwakwo Kuja in an affidavit filed before the court by Barrister Caleb Rotimi Oyekola, said the company was incorporated to carry on business as sports promoters, to arrange, organise, finance and present sporting events. He alleged that Austin Okocha and his wife Nkechi who are chairman and managing Directors of the company respectively,were conducting the affairs of the company in an illegal and oppressive manner.
Mr. Kuja alleged further that at the formative stage of the company located at 46, Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, he spent N63 million performing his duties as Executive Director in the affairs of the company diligently and productively.
However, when he clamoured for an audit of the company’s account in line with the provisions of the companies and allied matters act to ascertain if the company was making profit and to also enable the company to file its annual returns to the corporate Affairs Commission, the respondents decided to illegally and unlawfully ease him out from his position as a director in the company contrary to the provision of the companies and allied matters Act.(CAMA).
Consequently, the respondents without a valid resolution of the board of directors of the company conspired to have his properties thrown out of his office without any authorisation by the board of directors of the company, whereas himself and other petitioners mentioned earlier are the majority share-holders of the company.
Thereafter all efforts made to convene a general meeting of the company as well as have the accounts of the company audited and preparation of the financial statement of the company were met with strong resistance by Austin Okocha and his wife.
The petitioners alleged further that since the formation and the commencement of operations by the company, the firm has never held a board meeting, neither has there been any general meeting. It was also alleged that the respondents were on the verge of selling off one of the businesses of the company, a company called Club Ten.
In his evidence Mr Kuja told the court that Okocha and his wife without any authorisation by a resolution of the Boards of Director or majority members of the company fraudulently forged a resolution of the board to change the directors of the company and unlawfully forcefully took over the affairs of the company.
In view of all these scenarios, the petitioners urged the court not only to restrain Austin Okocha and his wife from vandalising or selling off the company but to order that the accounts of the company should be audited.
After listening to the submission and argument of Mr Oyekola on behalf of the petitioners,justice Buba in his judgement,said the reliefs claimed in the petition has merit and are granted as prayed and the court make the following declaration and order:
*The petitioners are majority shareholders of the company
*A declaration that the alteration of the change of Directors of the company without the resolution of the Board of Directors is illegal, null and void and no effect whatsoever
*An order of the court directing the immediate auditing of the company’s in line with the provision of CAMA
*An order restraining Austin Azuka Okocha and Nkechi Okocha from managing and running the affairs of the company solely as if it is their personal property.
* An order of the court directing that Friday Nwankwo Kuja be made signatory to the account of the company
*A declaration that the manner in which Okocha and Nkechi Okocha are running the affairs of the company is oppressive to the petitioner by sidelining the petitioner especially Friday Nwakwo Kuja,completely from participating in the day to day running of the affairs of the company
* A Cost of N20,000.
However, it was alleged that Okocha Austin and his wife who did not file any defence to the suit have refused to obey the judgement of the court.