The former chief executive officer of Newswatch Communications, publishers of Newswatch magazine, Mr. Ray Ekpu has described the decision by the company’s executive chairman, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, to indefinitely suspend publication and relocate the company’s headquarters to Broad Street on Lagos Island as illegal.
He said, “We the 49 per cent shareholders of Newswatch Communications Limited are baffled by the decision of Ibrahim to unilaterally suspend the publication of Newswatch and also move the headquarters of Newswatch to the corporate headquarters of his own company on Broad Street, Lagos Island.
“These decisions break the spirit and letter of the agreement we had with him 15 months ago when he was admitted as 51 per cent shareholder of the company.
“We fear that the magazine now faces an uncertain future in the hands of Ibrahim and we urge him to rescind these decisions and if he doesn’t he can be assured that we will fight him to the end.”
Mr. Ibrahim bought a controlling stake in the company sometime last year promising to turn the company around by injecting funds and bring in modern machines but one year after that has not happened.
Another board member of the company, Dan Agbese, said it was unfortunate that Ibrahim unilaterally suspended the publication of the magazine.
He said, “Newswatch had faithfully kept faith with its readers since its debut in 1985. In all that time through good and bad business times, it hits the newsstand every Monday except for its proscription for six months by the Babaginda administration.
“He didn’t consult with anybody before taking the decision and he does not own Newswatch 100 per cent.
“We didn’t bargain for this, we only admitted him into the company to inject new funds and take it to the next level. We are definitely going to take necessary steps to seek redress and rescue our magazine.”
Members of staff say they have not been paid their salaries and allowances for four months now.