Newswatch: Ray Ekpu Says Jimoh Ibrahim Denied Him Some Retirement Benefits

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The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday heard that a businessman,? Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, paid only a part of the retirement benefits of former directors of? Newswatch Communications Ltd. which he acquired.

A former Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Ray Ekpu, made the claim? while giving evidence in a suit filed by two minority shareholders of the company.

The shareholders – Mr Nuhu Wada and Prof. Jibril Aminu — are challenging the method through which Ibrahim acquired the majority shareholding of the company.

During cross examination by Ibrahim’s counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Ekpu said that Ibrahim cheated him by refusing to pay him a balance of N30 million of his retirement benefits.

?”The sum of N79 million was paid to me out of N109 million.

“During his meeting with me and four other directors, he called on the accountant who read the figures to us.

?”The figures were less than what we expected to be paid and we had since submitted our request for regularisation to the board on May 5, 2011.

“When we told him that the figures were less than what we expected, he said that that was the only money available.

“He just paid us what he wanted and still insisted on collecting 10 per cent as tax, the receipt of which he never gave us,” Ekpu testified.

?He said that efforts to make Ibrahim to pay the balance through? correspondences yielded no result.

?The defence counsel,? Ayorinde, consequently tendered as exhibits, copies of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) containing the names of other companies under the Newswatch group.

The MoU also disclosed how much was paid to other directors.

Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned the case to March 18 for continuation of trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plaintiffs filed the suit on Jan. 17.

They are seeking, among other reliefs, an order to quash a share purchase agreement which transferred the ownership of the company to Ibrahim.

Newswatch Communications Ltd., Global Media Mirror Ltd., Newswatch Newspapers Ltd. and the Corporate Affairs Commission are joined as co defendants in the suit.

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