With so much deliberation, plans and confirmation by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the sale of one of the largest telecommunication service (9 mobile) in Nigeria, the plans came to a halt when Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja stopped the sale of 9mobile because stakeholders of the company are not part of the acquisition process.
This ruling came after the preferred bidder, Teleology Holdings, made a down payment of $50 million being the 10% non-refundable fee for the acquisition of 9mobile and which comes with a 90-day deadline to complete the payment as confirmed by The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
According to Vanguard, Justice Nyako gave the order to stop the sale of the telecommunication firm while ruling on an ex parte motion brought by the aggrieved shareholders of 9mobile that took the matter to court , complaining of being left out in the telecommunications company’s decision-making process.
The plaintiffs — Afdin Ventures Limited and Dirbia Nigeria Limited — claimed to be major stakeholders of the company and asked for a refund of $43,330,950, being the amount they invested in the company.
Defendants in the suit are Karlington Telecommunications Ltd, Premium Telecommunications Holdings NV, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Etisalat International Nigeria Ltd and Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
The plaintiffs also claimed that 9mobile, previously operating as Etisalat Nigeria, has failed to declare dividends on its shares since 2009 till date
Justice Binta Nyako, who presided over the case, ordered that every party involved should maintain status quo pending the outcome of the case which was adjourned till May 14, 2018.
However, besides the fact that the new court date is a month into the 90-day ultimatum to pay up the balance of $450 million.
Right now , It’s clear that the financial and technical evaluation exercise is not the only hurdle required to seal the acquisition deal , as it seems there is still a lot on the plate to be fixed before the process can be termed as signed and sealed.