BEDC commences contempt proceedings against its takeover
Legal advisers to Vigeo Power Limited, majority shareholder of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC), have commenced contempt proceedings against alleged illegal takeover of the company.
The law firm of Kunle Adegoke (SAN), lawyers to Vigeo Power Ltd, said the contempt proceedings became imperative because the attention of its client was drawn to a publication by Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on July 13, in which it tried to justify its attempts to take over BEDC, despite injunction issued by Federal High Court, Abuja on July 8, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1113/2022 between Vigeo Power Limited and Fidelity Bank Plc & 7 Ors.
A statement issued by the law firm reads: “It is on record that the total shareholding of the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Ministry of Finance in BEDC is just 40 per cent, making two of them minority shareholders which pales into insignificance in the face of 60 per cent shareholding held by Vigeo Power Limited, our client.
“It is sad that in a worst form of brigandage unknown to Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and the Shareholders’ Agreement dated the 21st day of August, 2013, which is subsisting among the parties, the BPE, using Fidelity Bank Plc as a front, has decided to take over a company that is not indebted to either BPE or Fidelity Bank, using the naked force of state power.
“Contrary to the impression sought to be created by BPE in the publication, Vigeo Power Limited’s 60 per cent shareholding in BEDC was never collaterised in any loan transaction with Fidelity Bank Plc or any other financial institution.”
According to the legal advisers, the orders of the Federal High Court in the suit restrains Fidelity Bank Plc, BPE and any other agency of government, from altering or further altering the board composition of BEDC Electricity Plc or working in concert with any person or party to alter the board composition of BEDC. It also restrains BPE and the persons it purportedly appointed as directors of BEDC, namely, K. C. Aguma, Adeola Ijose, Henry Ajaghawa, Charles Onwera and Yomi Adeyemi (4th -8th Defendants respectively) “from parading themselves or holding themselves out as directors of the BEDC, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice,” among others.
The lawyers, therefore, urged members of the public to “disregard and condemn the acts of lawlessness embarked upon by the BPE, Fidelity Bank Plc and their co-travellers as they have commenced contempt proceedings against all defaulters of rule of law involved in this misadventure.”