Posted by News Express | 17 February 2015 | 5,131 times
Founder of Living Faith Church, popularly known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, on Monday in a counter-offensive, stormed a Federal High Court in Lagos, urging it to strike out a suit filed against him and others by a stock brokerage firm, Valueline Securities and Investment Limited over alleged breach of agreement on over N9 billion investment in the Nigerian stock market.
The firm and its Managing Director, Samuel Enyinnaya, had sued Oyedepo and others claiming about N1.86 billion damages over the said alleged breach.
Other defendants are Living Faith Church, World Mission Agency Inc (the overall ruling organ of the church), Covenant University, David Oyedepo Foundation, Mrs Faith Abiola Oyedepo (Oyedepo’s wife), Joys Priscillia Oyedepo, Love Jesutobi Oyedepo, David Makinde Oyedepo, Isaac Oyedepo (all Oyedepo’s children and blood relatives) and The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Oyedepo and his relatives, who are the first to tenth defendants in the suit, were said to have appointed the plaintiffs as the portfolio managers of their stock investments running into billions of naira.
According to the statement of claim, the plaintiffs had narrated how an Investment Portfolio Management Agreement (IPMA) was signed with the first to tenth defendants whereby the plaintiffs were given far reaching powers to exercise discretion and do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure profitability of the investments and equally give periodic reports.
On Monday, Oyedepo’s lawyer, Chioma Ogwuanyi, urged the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
While arguing a preliminary objection filed before the court, the lawyer argued that the suit was principally a capital market dispute, adding that only the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) by virtue of Section 284 of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) has exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter, and not the Federal High Court.
Ogwuanyi added that the plaintiffs had also admitted in their claim that the subject matter of the suit was a dispute relating to simple contract, and that by such admission, it was clear that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction over simple contract.
Besides, the lawyer said Clause 14 of the agreement between the plaintiffs and the defendants had expressly provided that any dispute arising from the contract should be referred to an arbitral panel, and not the regular court.
•Adapted from a Daily Independent report. Photo shows Bishop Oyedepo.
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