Plans are underway by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to take over Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC) despite a subsisting court injunction.
A source told TheCable on Monday that the development is coming despite an injunction by the Federal High Court, Abuja, against BPE and Henry Ajagbawa, appointed by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in July 2022, over the move.
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) had said the “restructuring was a result of the contractual agreement between the bank and Vigeo Power Limited, a core investor in Benin DisCo”.
TheCable had reported that a court granted an order of interim injunction to Vigeo Power, dated July 8, restraining the bank from taking over the company’s assets.
In July, BEDC management warned that “any attempt by Fidelity Bank and/or BPE to intervene in BEDC in the manner being reported will be illegal, unlawful and will be resisted”.
“There are strong indications that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Henry Ajagbawa and the other directors illegally appointed into the board of directors of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC) have, out of desperation, perfected devious plans to forcefully and unlawfully invade the premises of the company (BEDC) today September 05, 2022, with the support of some security agencies despite a subsisting court injunction,” the source said.
The source added that Ajagbawa “fed the security agencies with tissues of lies and malicious allegations against the statutorily recognised and legitimate management of BEDC”.
“We are aware that the said security forces have been deceived to assist Mr. Ajagbawa to unlawfully invade the premises of BEDC despite the pendency of Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1113/2022 between Vigeo Power Limited v. Fidelity Bank Plc & 7 Ors and the orders of the interim injunction issued in the said case by the Federal High Court, Abuja against the said Henry Ajagbawa and his cohorts,” the source added.
The source also said, “the Court has emphatically restrained Messrs Ajagbawa, K. C. Akuma, Adeola Ijose, Charles Onwera and Yomi Adeyemi from taking over the premises and business of BEDC or parade themselves as directors of the said company”.
A senior official at BEDC, who craved anonymity, implored all well-meaning Nigerians and the general public to prevail on “these desperate individuals to respect the pending proceedings and orders of the court”.
The official also “implored all security forces in Nigeria to reject the illegal machinations of Ajagbawa and his collaborators and respect pending proceedings of court to avoid a breakdown of law and order”.