The management of The Sun newspaper has kicked against the marking of its corporate office in Lagos for seizure by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
EFCC on Saturday, December 14th had marked properties belonging to Orji Uzor Kalu, former Abia state governor. Muhammed Idris, a judge of the federal high court in Ikoyi, sentenced the former governor to 12 years in prison for diverting N7 billion from the coffers of Abia state.
In a statement, the company stated that it is not a party to the case instituted against Kalu and Slok Nigeria Limited. The company noted that it is a limited liability company with its shares owned by various individuals apart from Kalu.
“We do not understand the legal basis for this EFCC action. It is on record that there is a pending appeal at the Supreme Court with Suit No: SC/546/2018 wherein The Sun Publishing Limited appealed against the Judgement delivered by the Court of Appeal on the interim forfeiture order made against it by a Federal High Court in 2007 based on ex parte proceeding. The Notice of Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution were duly served on EFCC by the bailiffs of the Court,” the management said.
“It is also pertinent to state that EFCC vide a letter written by Counsel to The Sun Publishing Limited, dated 22nd May, 2018 and duly received by one Caleb Peter on behalf of Rotimi Jacobs & Co. was further put on notice of the pending appeal at the Supreme Court and advised to stay action in the matter pending the hearing of the Motion for Stay of execution and the appeal.
“Again, it is instructive to state that The Sun Publishing Limited was not a party to the case of EFCC vs. Orji Uzor Kalu & 2 Others, so we do not see why the Judgment in that case should lead to attempt to seal The Sun Publishing Limited premises.
“Further more, we are aware that both Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and Slok Nig Limited have since appealed the Judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris and a hearing date given.
“We wish to reiterate that The Sun Publishing Limited is an ongoing corporate limited liability company and its shares are owned by various individuals distinct from Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. Therefore, the recent Judgment against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu should not be used to disturb the operations of the company and the proprietary rights of its innocent shareholders until the matters are dispensed with at the Supreme Court.”