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HealthPlus alleges attempted hijack, disowns Chidi Okoro’s appointment as CTO

HealthPlus alleges attempted hijack, disowns Chidi Okoro’s appointment as CTO
September 26
16:25 2020

HealthPlus, a pharmaceutical company, has refuted reports of Chidi Okoro’s appointment as its incoming chief transformation officer (CTO).

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In a statement on Saturday, the company alleged that Okoro’s appointment is part of a hijack scheme being perpetrated by a foreign private equity firm.

“The announcement of the appointment of a CTO is wholly false, wrongful and illegal and should be totally ignored,” it said.

“It is the handiwork of unscrupulous foreign and local businesswoman and businessmen intent on reaping where they have not sown simply because they now see opportunities from the COVID-19 pandemic, like scavengers and vultures.”

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The pharmaceutical company said it collaborated with Alta Semper Capital in 2018 to inject fresh capital to further grow the business.

According to the statement, the PEF was to exit after five years and Bukky George, its founder and CEO, was prepared to give the PEF a controlling stake in order for them to realise their investment.

“The endeavour was to run into troubled waters primarily on account of Alta Semper’s futile attempts to take over the company, leading to it deliberately starving the company of pledged funds as well as the intransigence of Alta Semper’s owners when reminded of their obligations,” the statement read.

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“In May 2020, Mrs Bukky George instituted legal action at the federal high court [Suit No. FHC/L/CS/609/2020] seeking by way of a petition to stop HealthPlus Africa Holdings Limited (the investment vehicle used by Alta Semper Capital and which they control) and their nominee directors from continuing to run and manage the company in an oppressive and prejudicial manner and in disregard of her interests as a member of the company.

“Their actions included: the deliberate delay and withholding of funds; meddling with management, interference with the functions of key employees; abuse of corporate governance processes and now the attempt to remove her as CEO.

“There is a pending motion on notice for interlocutory injunction dated May 27, 2020, to restrain the respondents from doing this but in flagrant disregard of the court process Alta Semper and its cohorts have purported to do just that.”

HealthPlus also alleged that Alta Semper Capital failed to file any defence after being served the court processes and appealed that the parties mediate their dispute.

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“They chose to frustrate the mediation process after three meetings over a three month period presumably to enable them to build some spurious case against George and file an arbitration claim in England, which they hope will be a favourable venue to seal their wrongful and unlawful acts,” it said.

The company described Alta Semper’s actions, including the arbitration claim that it has now filed, as a serious affront to the authority of the court and a desecration of the integrity of the Nigerian judicial system.

It advised the general public, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, its staff, customers and stakeholders to ignore the earlier unauthorised press release adding that Bukky George remains its founder and CEO.

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