O&O Networks Limited and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Appealing Court of Appeal Judgement on Disputed Airtel shares

By Austen Osokpor

RE : O & O Networks Limited V. Broad Communications Ltd & 9 Others (Ecobank Nigeria Limited As 10th Respondent)

O&O Networks Limited is appealing an unfavourable Court of Appeal Judgment that was delivered today and relating to shares that it previously owned in Airtel Networks Limited.

Our external Solicitors have filed Notices of Appeal against the judgments, alongside Motions to Stay Execution of the Judgments. Parties to the appeals, including Broad Communications Limited, have been served with the court papers.

In August 2018, O & O Networks sold its shares in Airtel Networks Limited for Naira 22.5 billion (approximately US$62.5 million) with the permission of the Federal High Court on June 7, 2018 and subsequently in September 2018, Broad Communications Ltd filed an interlocutory application requesting the Federal High Court of Nigeria to grant an order directing O&O Networks to place Naira 22.5 billion (approximately US$62 million) - the entire proceeds of the sale of the Airtel shares and an amount which is significantly in excess of the plaintiff's total monetary claim - into an escrow account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, pending the final determination of the substantive claim.

The Federal High Court of Nigeria granted the interlocutory application on March 7, 2019. O & O Networks subsequently filed a Notice of Appeal and an application to stay of execution of the Ruling. The appeals against the Ruling were dismissed by the Court of Appeal today 24th November 2020. A further aappeal against the judgments, alongside Motions to Stay Execution of the Judgments have been filed to the Supreme Court today.

O&O Networks will prosecute the Supreme Court appeal vigorously as it believes the substantive claim of Broad Communications Ltd. is without merit whatsoever as O & O Networks sold the shares validly and with the authorization of a court of law.

O&O Networks is a special purpose vehicle previously owned by former Oceanic Bank International Limited ('Oceanic') and which, in 2011, formed part of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated's (ETI) acquisition of Oceanic.

O&O Networks Limited