22nd January, 2019
A Federal High Court has granted an order restraining a Nigerian businessman Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh, from parading himself as the Chairman/Managing Director or Chief Executive Officer of Bolingo Hotels and Towers Limited, Abuja.
The presiding Judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri, declared that by virtue of the notice dated June 15, 2009 by the Board of Directors of the Bolingo Hotels and Towers Limited and the ordinary resolution dated July 6, 2007 passed to the effect that Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh should vacate his office as Director and Chairman/Managing Director of the Bolingo Hotels and Towers, Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh, has been removed as the Chairman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the hotel.
The court also ordered that Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh, should render an account and disclose the financial standing of the Bolingo Hotels and Towers, Abuja to the counter claimants from October 16, 2006 till date of judgments (December 14, 2018) in this suit within 14 days from the date of such order.
Besides, the court declared that the 200, 000, 000 units of shares of the late Chief Joseph Uchechukwu Igweh, in Bolingo Hotels and Towers have not been transmitted in line with the resolution of the Bolingo Hotels and Towers dated May 18, 2006.
Specifically, the Judge declared that the purported transfer of the (200, 000, 000 units of shares of the late Chief Joseph Uchechukwu Igweh, in the Bolingo Hotels and Towers by Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh, to himself was ultra vires, illegal, unlawful, improper, invalid, and null and void and of no effect whatsoever, as the said shares were not transmitted with the consent, authority and approval of the Board of Directors of Bolingo Hotels and Towers and or in line with the Articles of Association of the Bolingo Hotels and Towers Limited.
Consequently, the court ordered that a general meeting of the members of Bolingo Hotels and Towers Limited be held in accordance with statutory requirements within 21 days from the date of judgment and that a nominee of the Corporate Affairs Commission, not below the rank of principal Manager in the Commission, should attend, guide and supervise both meetings of the Board of Directors and the members of Bolingo Hotels at the time of holding the said meetings.
Justice Quadri ordered the Corporate Affairs Commission to produce all the files of the Bolingo Hotels and Towers Limited registered as RC No. 13, 571 at the meetings and also ordered the Commission to regularize the files in its custody by expunging from the said file, all forged documents filed by Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh with the said Commission as may be identified by the counter claimants at the meetings.
Trouble began when the late Chief Joseph Uchechukwu Igweh, died on October 22, 2005 in the Bellview plane crash at Lisa village, Ogun State. At that time, two of his children, Chijioke Igweh and Chizoba Igweh were shareholders in the company.
There was internal wrangling over who takes control of the company based on the perception that the widow, Dr. Mrs. Becky Igweh, was making moves to have exclusive control the hotel.
Thereafter, Dr. Mrs. Bekky Igweh, filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja wherein she sued 3 of the children and Corporate Affairs Commission but Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh, championed the course of his younger siblings and advised them to go back to the United Kingdom while he defend the suit filed by Dr. Bekky Igweh.
However, both parties (Cyprian and Bekky) reached an agreement and the terms of settlement was only signed by Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh. The terms of settlement was made the consent judgment of the court on October 11, 2006.
Prior to the settlement move, Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh unilaterally changed the lawyer appointed to represent his interest and that of his siblings who are Defendants in the matter and unilaterally appointed Suleiman Usman, SAN, who is now the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Sokoto State.
Part of the terms of settlement was that Dr. Bekky Igweh would relinquish her shares in Bolingo Hotels and Towers and be paid 10 percent of the hotel’s value; set aside the Will of their late father while Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh will be head of the family and solely handles the Administration of the Estate; Dr. Bekky would handed all title documents of the Estate to him and she will in turn be paid N250, 000.00 every month as upkeep; Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh will be transparent in handling the affairs of the Estate.
Upon assuming those responsibilities and being granted letters of Administration, Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh turned around to say that the Estate belongs to him and declared himself Chairman, Managing Director, Bolingo Hotels and Towers Limited.
In a bid for other Directors to correct this anomaly after discovering various infractions, they issued a notice to Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh pursuant to the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Bolingo Hotels and Towers for his removal in office.
The day after they obtained an order on June 11, 2009 to hold Board meeting of Bolingo Hotels and Towers, because Cyprian had influenced some officers in Corporate Affairs Commission to place a caveat on the file of Bolingo Hotels and Towers Ltd with CAC for preventing his siblings who are all directors from removing him from office.
Following this, Bolingo Hotels, Cyprian Igweh dragged Chuma Igweh, Eyinnaya Igweh, Chijioke Igweh and Corporate Affairs Commission to Federal High Court, Abuja in the suit where he contended that the other directors are no longer directors because they have not paid for the shares allotted to them by virtue on the unilateral call on shares made by Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh and that the shares of their late father belonged to him.
However, the 1st – 3rd Defendants filed their defense and counter claim against Bolingo Hotels and Towers Limited, Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh and Corporate Affairs Commission, where they also made their claims and reliefs to the effect that the shares of their late father in Bolingo Hotels has not been transmitted to Cyprian Okechukwu Igweh and they are still directors in Bolingo Hotels and Towers Ltd.