The Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained Fidelity Bank Plc and other co-defendants from taking over Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC), pending the hearing and determination of a July 8, 2022 motion on notice.

Justice Emeka Nwite made the order last Friday in an action marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1113/2022 commenced by Vigeo Power Limited, the majority shareholder of BEDC.

The first to eighth defendants are Fidelity Bank, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Henry Ajagbawa, Charles Onwera, Yomi Adeyemi, K.C. Akuma, and Yomi Adeyemi.

Those affected by the order include the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

Justice Nwite held: “After hearing Kunle Adegoke, SAN, with Ademola Adeleye, for the Plaintiff/ Applicant move in terms of the motion paper, it is hereby ordered as follows:

“That Plaintiffs’/Applicants’ application dated and filed 8th July 2022 is granted as prayed.

“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the 1st Defendant, whether directly by itself or indirectly, from altering or further altering board composition of BEDC or working in concert with any person or party to alter the BEDC board composition, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice dated 08.07.2022.

“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the 1st Defendant, whether directly by itself or indirectly, from altering or further altering the board composition of BEDC or working in concert with any person or party to alter the board composition BEDC…

“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the 2nd and 3rd Defendants, whether directly by themselves or indirectly, from registering or recognising the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants as directors of the BEDC…

“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants whether directly by themselves or indirectly, from parading themselves or holding themselves out as directors of the BEDC…

“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants whether directly by themselves or indirectly, including the entities set out in the schedule below from taking over the management and control of the affairs, assets and undertakings of the BEDC…

“That case is adjourned to 22nd day of July, 2022 for hearing of the Motion on Notice.”

Vigeo Power’s suit followed the recent purported activation of the call on the collateralised shares of Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and BEDC Electricity Plc (the DisCos).

This is in a bid to take over the respective boards of the DisCos over their inability to repay the loans obtained to acquire majority stakes in the DisCos in furtherance of the 2013 privatisation exercise.

The referenced report also alleged that certain parties had been appointed as board members, independent directors and managing director of BEDC Electricity Plc.

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