A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed 15 May for ruling on preliminary objections to the takeover of Arik Air Ltd by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
AMCON had on Feb. 8 announced that it had taken over Arik Air Ltd to “save it from collapse and in the best interest of the general public, workers, creditors and others in the aviation sector.
A lawyer, Mr Oluseye Opasanya (SAN), was appointed as the receiver manager of Arik Air following its takeover by AMCON.
By an ex parte application on Feb. 8, AMCON secured an injunction restraining Arik’s shareholders, directors, creditors, managers, officers, employees, servants, and privies, from interfering with Opasanya’s power to manage the airline.
However, four persons — Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide, Chris Ndule, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide and Engr. Sangowawa Olubiyi — filed a preliminary objection against the court’s order.
Their preliminary objection was filed through their lawyer, Mr Babajide Koku (SAN).
They accused the lawyer representing AMCON and Opasanya, Prof. Kayinsola Ajayi (SAN), of engaging in “professional misconduct” and urged the court to void all the processes so far filed on behalf of AMCON and Opasanya.
The grounds of their objection was that Ajayi and Opasanya are both lawyers practising in the law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi LP.
Koku argued that by virtue of Rule 17 of Professional Conduct of Legal Practitioners 2007, neither Ajayi nor any other lawyer from the law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi LP could appear in a case where Opasanya is a plaintiff.
Opposing the preliminary objection, Ajayi argued that there was a distinction between Opasanya and the law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi where Opasanya works, adding that no law stops anyone from representing Opasanya.
Besides, Ajayi also filed a preliminary objection challenging the locus standi of the plaintiffs to file the preliminary objection.
He argued that they were not parties in the suit in question which AMCON and Opasanya filed against Arik and the Inspector-General of Police, describing them as interlopers, who should not be heard.
He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss their preliminary objection.
After hearing both preliminary objections on Friday, Justice Mohammed Idris, adjourned until May 15 for ruling.
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