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Family sues uncle over company shares


The family of late Captain Romeo Itima, the founder and pioneer Managing Director (MD) of Global West Vessel Specialist Limited (GWVSL), has sued the current MD of the firm, Captain Winfred Itima at the federal high court, Lagos over allegations of financial mismanagement and unprofessional conducts.

Plaintiffs in the suit are Romeo’s widow, Helen Itima, sons, Zion Itima and Kevin Itima.Defendants are GWVSL, Winfred, Olugbenga Leke Oyewole and Olabisi Afolabi.According to the plaintiffs, the 2nd defendant (Winfred), who is the elder brother of the deceased founder of the company and considered his closest family member allegedly took control of the companies shortly after his death to the exclusion of the deceased immediate family.

The suit marked FHC/CS/1123/2017 is before Justice Babs Kuewumi and has been adjourned to June 26, 2018 for hearing of preliminary applications.In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs averred that late Romeo established the company in Nigeria in 2009 to combat piracy and associated crimes plaguing Nigeria’s territorial waters as a master mariner with a rich shipping experience from the United States of America.

Sadly, the late Captain met his untimely and mysterious death on August 7, 2012 in Escravos, Delta State, where he was reported to have fallen off a boat and drowned.They stated that the 2nd defendant took-over their late father’s companies, GWVSL and Molecular Power Systems Limited shortly after his death and has refused to give account of the finances of the two companies to the family till date.

They claimed that his actions since the demise of their father were a clear breach of filial affection, trust, care and confidence their late father reposed in him.They therefore, prayed the court to order the defendants to give detailed account of all the assets including vessels purchased under the Private Public Partnership Agreement between the 1st defendant and Nigeria Maritime Safety and Administration Agency (NIMASA) among other reliefs.

In response, the defendants filed a motion on notice, praying the court to strike out the service of the originating processes on them for being defective and incompetent.According to the defendants, the copy of the originating processes do not contain copies of the documents the plaintiffs seek to rely on as provided in order 3 rule 1 (b) of the rules of the court.But the plaintiffs have filed a preliminary application seeking for an order of court to strike out the said motion on notice dated and filed on September 19, 2017.

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Helen ItimaRomeo Itima
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