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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Shareholders sue IGI board chairman, Ahmed, others for assets stripping, failure to hold AGM

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Shareholders of Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc have dragged the board of the company to court accusing them of assets stripping and failure to hold Annual General Meeting (AGM) for five years.

In a suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the shareholders accused a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed, who is the chairman of IGI boad and seven others of not abiding by the law to hold the company’s statutory Annual General Meeting for over five years.

They also said that the board was embarking on an “unrestrained asset stripping” by selling and transferring the company’s fixed assets without the approval of the shareholders.

Other respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CP/1699/2021 are the company; its Managing Director, Rachel Emenike; Oladapo Afolabi; Augustine Olorunsola; Kanayo Okoye; Gafar Animashaun and Abiodun Ajifolawe who are members of the company board of directors.

The respondents were accused of contravening the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2000 in running the affairs of the firm.

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In the suit, the petitioners urged the court to declare the management of the affairs of the company by the respondents illegal for their failure to convene the statutory shareholders’ meeting, failure to declare and publish annual audited financial reports of the company and failure to give statutory reports of directors and auditors.

In a 21-paragraph statement on oath deposed to by one of the petitioners, Abiodun Akinjayeju, the deponent noted that the company’s assets sold without authorisation from shareholders included landed properties in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lagos, Bodija, Ibadan in Oyo State and Kacyru Kigali, in Rwanda.

He added that letters have been written to challenge the alleged illegalities of the respondents, but nothing positive was done to the complaints.

The petitioners, however, noted that the affairs of the company are being conducted in a manner oppressive to them and therefore urged the court to grant their prayers.

They also urged the court to grant an order of injunction restraining the respondents, their agents and privies from further acts of negotiations, sale or utilisation of the company’s assets, pending when the respondents render proper accounts on the assets of the company at a properly convened AGM.

Since the founder of the company, Remi Olowude died in 2014, the company has been going through difficult time as staff are not been paid as at when due while many staff have resigned and left the firm due to deteriorating financial position of the company.

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