Nigeria News
Court dismisses directors’s motion against oil firm

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a motion by two  directors of an oil and gas company, Green Energy International Ltd.

The motion is seeking to discharge an  ex parte order of the court   granted in favour of the company ordering   the directors  to attend a  board  meeting and Annual General meeting to resolve their  disagreement over a $300m  Foreing Direct Investment loan meant for the expansion of the company’s operation.

The court, in its ruling on the application for order discharging the exparte order granted  on 4 November 4, last year  argued by their counsel A Agbabiaka (SAN), said the  application by the defendant applicant had become academic and spent, having expired and the order having been implemented by the Plaintiff by holding the  said meeting as required without any breach of peace.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu stated that it was the duty of court to facilitate companies to resolve their differences using their internal mechanism in a peaceful manner and that it was the duty of all persons to maintain law and order, adding that it was not against the fundamental rights of any one when parties are ordered to maintain peace.

The two  Directors, Messrs Ayodele Olojede and Dr Bunu Alibe, who are minority shareholders had sought to truncate the loan financing agreement by asking that the processing of the loan be stopped , despite approval of the Board and majority of the shareholders, on the basis that they were not properly briefed .

The company  approached the court asking for an order of court to  compel the two directors to explore the internal mechanisms to ventilate their grievances and resolve their differences with the majority shareholders , rather than externalising the dispute with a view to obstructing the operations of the company.

In an exparte order dated 11 November , Justice Ojukwu had  stated that  to “afford  the parties  a happy medium  in the resolution of their issues”  she ordered the parties  to attend the Board meeting scheduled for  November 12, last year and refrain from any actions  which may cause a breach of peace.

Addressing the court, Counsel for the Plaintiff company, Chief Benbella Anachebe (SAN)   had argued that there was no order of court to discharge as the order had already been  carried out and the defendants have not placed any documentary evidence before the court to the contrary. He said  the Defendants had in flagrant disobedience of the  court order refused to attend the meeting claiming they had fundamental freedom of association  and that  the Board and Annual General met successfully  approved the proposal to seek all the Foreing direct investment to finance the expansion of the company by drilling more wells and establishing the first indigenous oil onshore  terminal .

culled from THE NATION