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Court restrains First Guarantee Pension from paying dividends, holding AGM

Court restrains First Guarantee Pension from paying dividends, holding AGM

Robert Egbe

The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted an interim injunction restraining the reconstituted Board of First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) from holding Annual General Meetings (AGM), paying dividends or taking any further action in the firm.

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo on May 18, 2020, said the order subsists pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction in the suit on June 8, 2020.

An FGPL shareholder Alexander Nwofe, had in in suit No. FHC/L/CS/524/2020, prayed the court to uphold FGPL resolutions passed at its General Meeting of February 20, 2020.

The first, second and third defendants in the suit are National Pension Commission (Pencom), FGPL and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The court in its ruling observed that despite the pendency of the suit, PENCOM proceeded to hand over the management of the company to an FGPL factional board of directors.

Th judge held: “The Second Defendant/Respondent is hereby restrained in the interim from taking any corporate or management steps or decisions through the Board of Directors under the chairmanship of Alh. Kashim Ibrahim Imam purportedly reconstituted by the First defendant on May 4, 2020.

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“The Board of Directors of the Second Defendant/Respondent as purportedly reconstituted by the First Defendant/Respondent is hereby restrained in the interim from holding any board meeting pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction.

“The second Defendant/Respondent is restrained in the interim from holding any Annual General Meeting or declaring and paying out any dividend, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.”

The Nation recalls that Novare Holdings (a foreign investor in FGPL), had on April 30, 2020 appealed a Court of Appeal judgment (allowing the appeal of PENCOM, FGPL and the Attorney General of the Federation) to the Supreme Court.

It also filed a motion seeking to restrain anyone from interfering with the management or assets of FGPL pending the determination of the Appeal by the Supreme Court.

Despite this appeal to the apex court and the pending application, PENCOM had on the next work day, May 4, 2020 handed over the management of FGPL to the factional Board.

The suit filed at the Federal High Court is one of the various suits begging for resolution in the nearly decade-long multiple shareholders’ disputes in FGPL.

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