By Ignatius Ushie
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has petitioned the Attorney General of the Federation, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of Department of State Services and the Chairman of EFCC demanding that the board Chairman of NIPCO, Chief Bestman Anakwe be stopped from presiding over any meeting of the company or it’s Annual General Meeting fixed for July 19.
A source informed Transport Day that, IPMAN’s letter dated July 6, 2018 and addressed to the Managing Director of NIPCO was copied to the Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja. The letter is written by Reuben Wanagho Esq. on behalf of Chief Chinedu Ukadike and 4 others against Chief Bestman Anakwe.
By the petition, IPMAN notified the recipients of the pendency of the suit marked FHC/PH/CS/06/2018 filed by Chief Chinedu Ukadike (Realine Nigeria Limited), Chief Owonye Edheigho, (Robor Nigeria Limited), Ugochukwu Duruaku (UC Golden Services Limited), Ezekiel Eletuo (Samez Ventures Nigeria Limited) and Sir Victor Etefia (Union Oil & Gas Co. Ltd) for themselves and as representing the concerned members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
Defendants in the suit are Chief Bestman Anakwe (1st), NIPCO Plc (2nd defendant), Securities and Exchange Commission (3rd defendant) and Corporate Affairs Commission as 4th defendant. By the suit, the plaintiffs are seeking the interpretation of section 252 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
Consequently, they want the court to determine “Whether or not under and by virtue of Section 252(1) and (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, not having disclosed to the members of the 2nd defendant (NIPCO) that he is above the statutory age of 70 years, the 1st defendant (Anakwe) is still eligible to continue to be a Director and the Chairman of the 2nd defendant which is a publicly quoted company?
“Whether or not having breached the express provisions of section 252(1) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the 1st defendant ought not to be removed as a Director and the Chairman of the 2nd defendant?
However, in view of the pendency of the suit, the AGF, Police, DSS, EFCC etc were reminded of the need for NIPCO to respect the sanctity of judicial proceedings by not allowing Chief Anakwe to preside over the AGM of NIPCO Plc fixed for July 19, as to do so will amount to contempt of court.
On the same 12th January 2018, the petitioners stated that they had filed a motion on notice for an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain Chief Anakwe from howsoever or in any manner whatsoever acting as a Director and Chairman of NIPCO (2nd defendant).
More so, the plaintiffs had prayed for an order restraining Anakwe from presiding over any meeting including any annual general meeting of NIPCO in his capacity as a Director or Chairman, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Meanwhile, if the questions posed before the court are answered in favour of the plaintiffs, consequently, they want a declaration that under and by virtue of Section 252(1) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the 1st defendant, not having disclosed to the members of the 2nd defendant that he has attained and surpassed the statutory age of 70 years, the said 1st defendant is no longer eligible to continue to act as a Director and the Chairman of the 2nd defendant.
A declaration that having breached the express provisions of Section 252(1) and (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the 1st defendant is liable to be removed as a Director and the Chairman of the 2nd defendant.
The plaintiffs also are praying for an order directing the 3rd and 4th defendants to remove the 1st defendant as a Director and Chairman of the 2nd defendant. More so, they want an order compelling the 1st defendant to refund to the 2nd defendant all monies he collected by way of salaries and allowances as a Director and the Chairman of the said 2nd defendant from 6th March, 2014 to the date of this action and from then to the date of judgment herein.
In addition, the plaintiffs had asked for a perpetual injunction restraining the 2nd and 4th defendants by themselves, servants, agents, privies and/or collaborators from howsoever further recognizing or in any manner whatsoever dealing with the 1st defendant as a Director and the Chairman of the 2nd Defendant.
NIPCO is a publicly quoted company incorporated on 8th January, 2001 initially as a private limited liability company with the name of Independent Petroleum Marketing Company Limited.
The company’s name was subsequently changed to NIPCO Plc whereupon it became a public liability company with its head office being and situate in Abuja. Efforts made to get a reaction from Betsman proved abortive as calls made to him did not connect.
By Ignatius Ushie