A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned till March 24, 2017, for hearing in the suit filed by Miss Oluwatise Aderinokun, the eight-year-old and last child of the late founder and former Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB), Olutayo Aderinokun, against the bank and six others over alleged manipulation of her late father’s shares.
Other respondents in the legal battle are GTBank’s Registrar, Datamax Registrar Limited, Kanali Investments Limited, Day Waterman Company Limited, Caribod Investment Limited, Mr. Babatunwa Aderinokun, and Investment One Financial Services Limited.
At the resumed hearing, the seventh defendant, Investment One Financial Services Limited, used by late Aderinokun, to acquire shares in GTBank, informed the court that it had filed an affidavit of facts to assist the court in the judicious determination of the plaintiff’s suit.
In the particulars of the affidavit of facts deposed to by one Mike Okoh, he averred that contrary to the averment of the sixth defendant, Mr. Babatunwa Aderinokun, the third to fifth defendants’ companies, namely: Kanali Investment Limited, Day Waterman Company Limited and Cariboo Investment Limited were incorporated as asset holding companies and vehicles through which late Aderinokun acquired invested and held his asset while planning his Estates during his lifetime.
The deponent averred further that other shareholders and board of directors of the above mentioned companies constituting the first wife of the deceased, Mrs. Olufunlola Aderinokun, and the children of late Olutayo Aderinokun were fully aware of the deceased assets protecting strategy via corporate vehicles.
He further stated that none of them paid for the shares, neither did they participate in the management of the companies during his lifetime.
The issues regarding the distribution of his GTBank’s shares have been the subject of various discussions between the executors of his estates.
However, Olumide Aju, lawyer representing Babatunwa Aderinokun, urged the court to strike out the affidavit of fact as it cannot be placed within the realm of any law.
In the ensuing legal battle, Oluwatise Aderinokun who is suing GTBank and other respondents through her mother, Mrs. Salamotu Aderinokun, in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1723/2015, is urging the court to declare that the recognition of three limited liability companies Kanali Investments Limited, Day Waterman Company Limited and Cariboo Investment Limited (the proxies), as being entitled to the rights accruing to the shares issued by GTBank, held in the proxies’ names and in the name of her late father, Olutayo Aderinokun, is wrong and breach of the implied contract between the defendants and her late father.
The plaintiff is also urging the court for an enquiry into what volume of her late father’s shares issued by GTBank were held in his name and the names of the three companies, Kanali Investments Limited, Day Waterman Company Limited and Cariboo Investment Limited (being shares/Properties held in trust of the beneficiaries of her late father’s estate), as at the time of his death on June 14, 2011.
The plaintiff is also seeking a court declaration that the recognition of the proxies by the defendants, as being beneficially entitled to the rights of her late father’s shares (issued by GTBank), held in the names of the proxies, was done in dishonest assistance of the breach of trust of her late father’s Will by the said proxy companies.
She also want the court to make an Order of Specific Performance of the implied contract between her late father, Olutayo Aderinokun, and GTBank, and Datamax Registrar Limited, whereby the said defendants are to accord late Olutayo Aderinokun all the rights and, or beneficial interest in the shares purchased by her late father, and issues by GTBank in the name of his corporate vehicles used as the proxies.
She wants an order of perpetual injunction restraining GTBank and other defendants in the suit from acknowledging/recognising the proxies as being the beneficial owners of the rights accruing to the shares held in their names in GTBank, and paying any sum declared as dividends accruing to her late father’s shares held in his name, and the names of the said proxy companies on the instructions of the directors on record.
The plaintiff, in her statement of claim filed before the court by her lawyer, Osaro Eghobamien (SAN) of Perchstone and Graeys, averred that upon the death of her father, he gave legacies and directive to his two wives and four children and her late father also appointed GTBank Asset Management Limited (now Investment One Financial Services Limited), and Mr. Babatunwa Aderinokun as joint Executors and Trustees, both whom were granted Probate on February 16, 2012.
She also averred that during the lifetime of her father, he had a peculiar manner of acquiring his assets, using the Proxies, among other corporate structures, rather than holding these assets directly in his own name, and that payments that were made for asset acquisition, or funds received in respect of the Proxy companies, were either paid from or into his personal accounts.