Nigeria: Transcorp Loses Bid to Stop Resale of Nitel

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday refused the request by Transcorp to stop the resale of 51 per cent shares of Nitel and its mobile arm, Mtel. Transcorp had initially acquired the shares, but the government revoked the sale amid allegation of mismanagement of the incumbent telco.

Defendants in the suit filed by Transcorp are the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), federal Attorney General, National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the Finance Ministry, and seven members of the interim board of Nitel.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole said he is wary of issuing injunctions because some lawyers have abused the process. He stuck to his guns despite the argument by Transcorp counsel, Innocent Daa'gba, that he had no intention of abusing the motion ex-parte, which was why he filed the motion on notice and the ex-parte motion together.

Daa'gba also disclosed that he had to rush to court because of the fear that NITEL may be sold at any time, even at a devalued rate. But Kolawole told him to serve all the defendants with the motion on notice, stressing that the resale of Nitel could still be reversed if Transcorp wins the case. He adjourned the matter to September 17 and ordered Transcorp to serve the defendants with the court processes today.

Daily Independent