Dr. Bunu Alibe and Mr. Ayodele Olojede who are the two aggrieved directors of Green Energy International Limited (GEIL), in the tussle over the ownership of the firm have rejected the interim agreement proposed by the Chairman of the company, Prof. Anthony Adegbulugbe.
The legal adviser of the two directors, Pascal Ukah, told Justice Bolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that rather than entering into an interim agreement with Adegbulugbe, the directors would prefer a substantive agreement.
Orient Energy Review Magazine learnt that Alibe and Olojede, had earlier filed a motion on notice marked against the company and Adegbulugbe as first and second respondents respectively through their former lawyer, Alade Agbabiaka (SAN).
The duo accused Adegbulugbe, amongst other things, of usurping executive responsibilities, contrary to the provisions of the firm and the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 and GEIL’s Articles.
Alibe and Olojede told the Court that Adegbulugbe unlawfully removed them from the company.
But Adegbulugbe filed a separate suit against Alibe and Olojede before the court.
In November 2, 2021, when case resumed, the parties opted to settle the matter out of court, but at the February 3, 2022 hearing, the new lawyer to Alibe and Olojede, Etigwe Uwa (SAN), prayed the court for more time to study the case as he had just taken it over former counsel.
Hearing of the case resumed on Tuesday May 17, and the counsel to the respondent, Bembella Anichebe (SAN), reminded the court that on the last adjourned date, it directed the parties to explore out-of-court settlement; thus, both parties agreed to engage an expert valuer who drafted an interim agreement that would be binding on them.
He said, “I was told that settlement cannot be reached owing to inability of petitioners (Alibe and Olojede) to commit to settlement.”
Anichebe told the court that the agreement was sent to the petitioners on April 27 or April 28 to either sign or comment so the settlement could be reached and their salaries paid.
“Unfortunately, as at yesterday when my client visited me, the agreement had not been signed nor had there been any reply from them.”
He explained that during an exchange of correspondences between the two counsel, “there was an issue as per manner of evaluation or modus to be embarked on.”
“On the part of the petitioners, they wanted a CPR kind of evaluation. So my instruction now is to proceed with our motion seeking to dismiss the petition in its entirety on very incontrovertible grounds of law.”
In his response, Ukah acknowledged that the matter was scheduled for a report of settlement, but disagreed with Anichebe on his prayer that their petition be dismissed.
Ukah told the court that they received a letter and a draft interim agreement from Prof. Gbolahan Elias who was appointed to draft the terms of agreement.
He said they responded to that letter accordingly, “wherein we stated our clients’ inability to agree to the draft agreement.”
He told the court that his clients prefer a substantive agreement if the parties were willing to come to a consensus.
“Did you put that in a letter?” the judge then asked.
When the judge asked if he added that in the letter, Ukah answered in affirmative and said that “Pertinently, our clients demanded all outstanding remunerations from the company which they jointly founded.”
But while Anichebe argued that he was not aware that the petitioners wrote a letter in reply to the draft agreement, Ukah admitted that he did not inform his learned colleague earlier.
Ukah therefore prayed the court for an adjournment to enable Anichebe to respond to their draft agreement.
On agreement for an adjournment, Justice Olajuwon adjourned the case till June 7, 2022.