First Bank Holdings Agrees To Suspend Extraordinary General Meeting Amid Pending Litigation

 

 

The First Bank Holdings Plc has assured the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that it will suspend all actions in respect of the Extraordinary General Meeting earlier slated for April 30, 2024.

The undertaking was made sequel to the application filed by Mr Olusegun Onagoruwa, a plaintiff in the suit seeking to dissolve the Board of Directors of the company and also to set aside all decisions reached at the 10th Annual General Meeting.

Onagoruwa had filed an application dated April 30, 2024, seeking: “An order restraining First Bank Holdings and its Board of Directors, their agents, employees, servants, officers, directors, privies or anyone acting on their behalf or at their behest, from conveying, conducting and/or holding the 1st respondents’ Extraordinary General Meeting scheduled to hold virtually on the 30th day of April, 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive action.”

The Plaintiff also sought “an order restraining First Bank Holdings Plc and its Board of Directors, their agents, employees, servants, officers, directors, privies or anyone acting on their behalf or at their behest, from conveying, conducting and/or holding any meeting of the 1st respondents whether physically or virtually, capable of undermining, subverting, compromising, eroding and/or rendering nugatory and/or worthless, the Order of this Honorable Court made on the 15th day of July, 2022 and the substantive action filed by the Applicant, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive action.

“An order setting aside, nullifying, annulling and/or quashing all the meetings of First Bank Holdings Plc held during the life span of the Order of this Honorable Court made on the 15th day of July, 2022 including the decisions and resolutions reached at such meetings and the steps already taken by the directors, officers, agents, servants and employees of the 1st respondent in a bid to execute, actualize, objectify and implement the said resolutions and decisions reached at such meetings.”

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First Bank Holdings Plc had announced its Extra-Ordinary General Meeting for April 30, 2024, but had to cancel it upon being served with the application by the plaintiff to suspend the said meeting on the grounds of illegality and that a virtual EGM was not contemplated by law.

 

 

First Bank Holdings Plc has been involved in several court cases regarding the management and control of the company and its allied entities, leading to various court orders.

When the case came up for hearing today, Wednesday, April 24, 2024, before Justice Akintayo Aluko, the counsel for the plaintiff, Adesoji Adedoyin, drew the attention of the court to the pending application of the plaintiff to stop the Extraordinary General Meeting.

The lawyer urged the court to extract an undertaking from the counsel for the defendants not to proceed with the EGM while the application is pending for hearing.

In his response, counsel for the defendants, Fred Onuobia (SAN), told the court that the defendants are aware of the pending application and are law-abiding litigants who will not do anything to undermine the integrity and authority of the court while the application is still pending.

The Court held that the defendants know the consequences of holding an EGM during the pendency of the order of the Court of July 15, 2022.

The court further enjoined the counsel for the defendants to adequately advise his clients, FBN Holdings and its Board of Directors, on any attempt to hold the EGM during the pendency of the action.

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Earlier in the proceedings, counsel for the Central Bank of Nigeria, Oluyemi Adebo, whose application to join the suit as a defendant was dismissed by the court, prayed the court to grant its application for a stay of further proceedings pending the hearing of the appeal that it filed against the ruling of the court.

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