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Newswatch vs Newswatch: Court discharges Ray Ekpu as a witness

By News Express on 20/03/2013

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Former Chief Executive Officer of Newswatch Communications Limited (NCL), Ray Ekpu, yesterday completed his testimony in cross-examination at the Federal High Court, Lagos, and was discharged as a witness by the court.

“Ekpu, who also read out portions of the alleged financial situation of the company before the takeover, insisted that such figures do not represent the true state of the company,” reports the Lagos newspaper, The Guardian.

The statement of account of Newswatch Communications Ltd read by Ekpu was allegedly prepared for the company by Marino and Partners.

“He was cross-examined by the defendants’ counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) in the suit filed by two minority shareholders of the company, Mr. NuhuWada Aruda and Prof. Jibril Aminu challenging the takeover of the company by businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim,” The Guardian reported.

Ekpu, according to the paper, specifically read out that the company sustained a loss of N27.9 million in 2005; N49 million losses in 2006; N86 million in 2008; N20 million in 2009 and N93 million in 2010.

Then Ayorinde asked: “Would you say that these figures reflect the state of affairs of the company at the said periods?”

Ekpu said: “No, these figures do not define the company state of affairs because they don’t refer to assets of the company. You don’t define a company just by looking at the losses. I cannot confirm nor deny the figures in this document.”

In his testimony as the second petitioners’ witness, Ekpu said he had absolutely no knowledge of the documents and could not therefore vouch for its accuracy.

According to The Guardian: “The two petitioners had filed the substantive petition accusing the new management team led by Ibrahim of assuming control of the company “illegally” through a Share Purchase Agreement.

“The petitioners are therefore, praying the court to quash the powers of the current management of the company elected by the majority of the shareholders.

“In their petition brought pursuant to Sections 310 (a), (b) and (c) and 311 (1), (2) (a) and (b) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the applicants are also praying the court to, among others, set aside the Share Purchase Agreement on the basis of which Ibrahim assumed majority shareholding in the company.

“Joined as respondents in the matter are; Newswatch Communications Ltd and Global Media Mirror Ltd.”

The trial judge, Ibrahim Buba, has adjourned further hearing in the case till late next month – specifically on April 22 and 26.

•Photo shows Ray Ekpu.

Source News Express

Posted 20/03/2013 4:05:13 PM

 

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