Folio Communications Limited has said that with all the money in the world and political connections, former Senator Ikechukwu Obiora cannot and will never take over the ownership of Daily Times of Nigeria because he has no title to any company with such a name.
Folio was reacting to information it received that Obiora has written to Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) demanding that Daily Times online platform be pulled down.
In a statement signed by Media/Publicity Adviser to Folio Communications, Bonaventure Melah who doubles as the Managing Editor of Daily Times, the company said having lost the cases relating to ownership of Daily Times in many courts, Obiorah is resorting to blackmail as a result of desperation which he described as shouting evidence that someone is drowning deeply.
“Ikechukwu Obiorah has dragged the management of Folio to many courts but the courts have refused to do his biddings because contrary to his mindset, there are many incorruptible judges in Nigeria even as the law is clear on what constitutes ownership of a company. Folio has also consistently published Daily Times, both the newspaper and the online version for over 10years now.
“Ikechukwu Obiorah has connived with some black sheep in the Nigeria Police to carry out several acts of impunity against Folio and its management/staff, but even that has also failed to confer what is not his to him.
He has therefore resorted to writing letters with content that are laced with intimidation and threat as a means of blackmailing NIRA to carry out acts that are obviously illegal. But even this will fail because the legal consequences of such illegality would be grave.”
According to Bonaventure, there is no court order to stop the publication of Daily Times and no competent court will grant such order as there is no basis in the first place. “This is because there is no company called Daily Times.
Daily Times is a title owned by Folio Communications Limited following its legal acquisition in 2004 and proper handover by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) the same year. So Ikechukwu Obiorah has no title to any company called Daily Times,” he emphasised.
The statement said that Ikechukwu Obiorah and some of his business partners may have succeeded in taking over properties belonging to other people in the past, adding that they will not have their way in the case of Daily Times.
“In recent times, we have read from several online media reports of how Ikechukwu Obiorah had in the past, taken over properties that belong to other people including but not limited to his father- in- law, Louis Carter Onwugbenu, Nigerian RE land illegally sold to them belonging to an embassy by Ikechukwu Obiorah.
We read of a case involving properties belonging to a former governor/Senator who is currently serving as Minister as well as that involving Transcorp Hilton for its Lagos development and many others too numerous to mention here as his stock in trade.
The above is even as he agrees that he did not participate in the privatisation of Daily Times alongside Folio Communications Limited but claims to have acquired a company from Mr. Ben Okoye with unsubstantiated 40 percent interest for which he is parading fake and forged CAC papers claiming ownership of a company that Folio acquired and fully paid for.”
“However, we want to state that the case of Daily Times is different as we will at all time, defend what rightly belongs to us, using all legal means.
No matter how hard they try and the means deployed, Ikechukwu Obiorah and his cohorts will never be the owners of Daily Times because you cannot take what is not yours.”
The statement said that the intervention of Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) was purely for the management of assets. “As law abiding corporate citizen, it is a deliberate policy of Folio to follow the dictates of the law in order not to take actions that are subjudice knowing that there are cases pending in the courts on the matter.
We understand that Ikechukwu Obiorah is a lawyer. But he has on several times made mockery of the law by running from courts of superior jurisdiction back to lower courts in vagrant abuse of judicial process.
“We are aware of all the connivance with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for which we have gone to court against the Commission for forgery and other related matters,” the statement stated, adding that the law will eventually deal with Ikechukwu Obiorah for all his impunities.
“Again, as law abiding citizens, we believe that the appropriate place to seek justice is the law. We have therefore instituted several contempt cases against Obiorah and because we have faith in the sanctity of the Nigerian judiciary, we trust that very soon the long arm of the law will catch up with him. This is as we know that Justice, like the mills of God, may grand slowly, but grinds exceedingly fine,” Bonaventure said.