The managements of Chief Pascal Dozie-led MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, Atedo Peterside owned Stanbic IBTC Bank and Hajara Adeola of Lotus Capital Nigeria Limited are facing a tough legal tussle capable of crumbling their financial base if information at our disposal is anything to go by.
According to National Enquirer’s dependable sources, the telecommunications giant, MTN, Stanbic IBTC Bank and a group of Lebanese businessmen running a mobile communications infrastructure company, IHS Holdings have been dragged to court for what the plaintiff, Dr. Charles Mekweye, a respected lawyer termed their involvements in MTN’s private placement fraud.
National Enquirer gathered reliably that, sometime ago, there was an advertisement of MTN’s private placement offer which attracted Dr. Charles Mekweye and definitely other investments driven Nigerians and being a reputable company, the respected lawyer got interested and decided to pay the sum of $122,800 (One hundred and twenty two thousand, eight hundred dollars, about twenty seven million Naira at the current rate of N220/dollar) for 5,000 units of the MTN shares under a private placement memorandum.
It is pertinent to note that, MTN Communications Nigeria Limited is not quoted on the Nigeria Stock Exchange for reasons best known to its board of directors but experts are of the opinion that, it might be due to taxation since it is an international company quoted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Be that as it may, MTN and its private placement partners-IBTC Assets Management, Lotus Capital, IHS Holdings and INT Towers Limited allegedly deceived its intending shareholders by tagging the offer: MTN Nigeria Linked Unit.
By this, the shareholders were meant to believe that, a process has been in the offing tagged: “Special Purpose Vehicle” which is tantamount to upgrading MTN shares on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and will thereby automatically transfer the SHARES into MTN proper after what they called an exit period of 3 years.
After much ado, and after what seems like waiting for the godot, the hopes of becoming an investor in an international communication firm were dashed after staking a staggering hard earned N27m on 5,000 of the supposed MTN Shares, and not just that, all promises such as; the shares will be transferred to MTN in a globally recognized stock exchange and so on were all a ruse.
Irked by this development, the thoroughbred legal luminary, Dr. Charles Mekweye had sought a legal redress against MTN Communications Nigeria Limited and its partners in the alleged dubious private placement offer- IBTC Assets Management, Lotus Capital, IHS Holdings and INT Towers Limited.
Dr. Mekweye, National Enquirer gathered is asking for a refund of $450,000 (four hundred and fifty thousand dollars, almost ninety nine million Naira on the current rate) being the current total value of the 5,000 units of the MTN shares and another N100m (hundred million Naira) as general damages from MTN, that’s not all, Mekweye is also asking for N100m as damages against Hajara Adeola’s Lotus Capital and Atedo Peterside’s Stanbic IBTC Assets Management among others.
In our facts finding mission, we tried to get in touch with the MTN management through an official letter sent via DHL and addressed to one Funmi Omogbenigun believed to be The Head, Corporate Communications. The letter which was dated, June 22nd, 2015 was received and signed for by one UCHE at the MTN headquarters on June, 23rd, 2015 but since then, MTN never deemed it fit to get back to us till we went to bed.