The battle for the soul of Eko Hospital has taken new twist as shareholders stage a peaceful protest at the venue of the Extra-General Meeting (EMG) held at Federal Palace Hotel on Thursday, over disenfranchisement of shareholders and the founding fathers of the hospital.
The protesting shareholders who stormed the venue with placards with inscriptions such as ‘Geoff Ohen Where do you get money to invest? Please invest your money somewhere else’ ‘Eneli, Kuku, Obiora Legacy Must Stand’, said that the EGM was an illegal meeting with the intention to formalise the purported take over of the hospital management.
It would be recalled that the a court had ordered the EGM, which was supposed to be attended by all shareholders to resolve the crisis facing the management board of the hospital.
Speaking with journalists, a shareholder and representative of the Dedicated Shareholders Association of Nigeria (DSAN), Mr. Oladimeji Adeleke, described the EGM as a show of shame as a good number of shareholders were disenfranchised from participating.
Adeleke specifically mentioned that 14.5 per cent shareholdings of late Dr Eneli, one of the founding fathers of Ekocorps and his Estate were deliberately blocked out from participating in the voting on the legality or otherwise of the 110million private placement causing the crises in the company.
According to him, if majority of shareholders, especially those belonging to late Eneli were not disenfranchised of their voting rights, the outcome of the EGM would have been different.
“Today’s EGM is not a meeting but a coup against Nigerian shareholders. We can see that the meeting has been stage managed to favour some board of directors. This is a big slap on Nigerians’ face, it shows that the board and management of Ekocoorps have taken us for a ride. It is a daylight robbery.
“We could see that there is a board crises. The full directors are not present either by person, proxy or virtual. We can see that some founding members of the company are not also present. We can see that some set of people want to hijack what they didn’t work for and want to take over the company from the real owners.
“We are here to make our intention know in a peaceful protest. As Shareholders we were not allowed into the EGM on the ground that the meeting was for a selected few people and that our names were not on the registered list.
“I believe our regulator should look into this and do the needful so that justice will prevail,” Adeleke said.
He decried the attempt by some people to harass and intimidate them with the police while ventilating their anger against the disenfranchisement at the venue.
According to him, the meeting does not meet the code of corporate governance approval of 21 days notice.
Also, a female protesting shareholder and National Coordinator, Ark of God Shareholders Association, Mrs. Efunyemi Ibideyi, said that their disenfranchisement from the meeting was deliberate and also denial of their rights.
She said: “I have never seen this type of AGM before. We want our regulators to please look into this. It is like the board of directors are hiding somethings. Eko hospital is dying because of the crises among the board of directors. Staff salaries can no longer be paid. We are pensioners, we want to real from our labour.
“The crisis is really affecting our investment. This meeting is illegal. This meeting cannot stand and all resolutions is null and void. It is sad that the security agents also mishandled the shareholders who are crying foul. We want our regulator to wake up. We want the regulator to help save the masses who invested in the company and those the hospital should be serving.”
Another shareholder, Mr. Taiwo Bamgbose, said that their grievance against the board of directors was that some shareholders were disenfranchised at the Extra General Meeting, frowning at the situation where some shareholders sidelined the founding fathers of the hospital..
Meanwhile, the family of one of the founding fathers, late Dr Alexander Eneli, had written to GTL Registrar & Data Solutions Limited, demanding for registration as holders of the shares of the deceased.
In the letter sighted by journalists, the family stated that the company has for long taken due notice of the transmission of the shares to them in consequence of which one Uzochukwu Eneli has been appointed director in the place of their late father and has acted as such since 2018.
The family accused Obiora of frustrating the exercise of the voting rights of their late father’s shares in order to rig the voting in the EGM in favor of Geoff Ohen Limited as he has previously alleged to have forged a resolution in order to falsely give Geoff Ohen Limited 110 million shares which the courts have since annulled and leading to the EGM which has been mandated by the courts.