Uproar Among FBN Holdings Shareholders Over Suspension of AGM
By Adedapo Adesanya
Some shareholders of FBN Holdings Plc have protested against a court order suspending the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the financial institution, and management proposed plans to raise fresh capital and appoint new directors.
The shareholders called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other regulatory bodies to take action and look into the crisis.
The shareholders, in a protest in Lagos on Monday, August 7, decried the move by some individuals to use the court to stop the AGM, noting that yearly meetings are statutory gatherings that cannot be stopped from holding.
A petition by Mr Olusegun Samuel Onagoruwa, upon which the order was obtained in suit No: FHC/L/CP/1271/2022, addressed to the chairman of FBN Holdings, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo said, “Take notice that unless you obey the directives in the judicial order contained in the order made on the 15th July 2022 by the Federal High Court, Lagos, by refraining from proceeding with the 11th Annual General Meeting of FBN Holdings Limited, proposed for 15th August 2023 from seeking approval to issue or raise share capital in any manner whatsoever, from appointing or confirming the appointment of new directors, or in any other manner taking any step towards implementing, actualizing enforcing resolution of the 10th Annual General Meeting of FBN Holdings Plc, held on 20th June 2022 or in any other manner overreaching, disobeying or undermining the said order of court, you will be guilty of contempt of court.”
On his part, Mr Chairman of the Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Mukhtar Mukhtar, while speaking on behalf of other minority shareholders, noted that shareholders are not happy that some individuals are trying to hold the financial institution to ransom.
He added: “They, therefore, want the AGM to proceed, and all resolutions should be considered.
“We are here to register our displeasure, discontent, our disapproval, and rejection of the attempt by some shareholders to prevent the AGM of FBN from being held and thereby preventing some resolutions from being passed.
“We want the AGM to proceed and the resolutions passed.”
He noted that FBN Holdings has an important, systemic function in the economy of Nigeria as one of the few banks that stabilize most of the monetary and fiscal policy and banking practices as a whole.
Mr Mukhtar urged the regulators to allow the financial institution to grow by enforcing best practices and by resolving the looming crisis.