The Stakeholders’ Crisis at the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), has taken a new twist as the a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja on Friday, asked parties involved to stay action pending a hearing slated for December 20, 2021.
Recall, the Crisis became visible Monday, when the DisCo’s union under the auspices of the National Union of Electricity Workers (NUEE) went on strike over unpaid allowances and other entitlements, forcing the government to suspend the company’s management.
TheFact Nigeria reports that the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu then said in a statement that the removal of the management was because UBA exercised its right to takeover the DisCo’s 60 percent stake due to failure of the shareholders – KANN Utility to complete a loan obligation.
On Thursday, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) which holds 40% stake on behalf of the federal government, announced the interim management led by a former PHCN executive, Engr. Bada Akinwumi.
As of Friday, the new management was yet to assume duty. However, the shareholders comprising CEC Africa and KANN had filed a suit on December 8 (Wednesday), titled FHC/ABJ/CS/1557/2021, restraining the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), BPE, UBA and United Capital Trustees Limited and AEDC from any action against the shareholders.
Sources from the parties who were at the hearing on Friday, said Justice Inyang Ekwo the presiding judge ordered that the defendants be notified within five days of the stay action order.
It was not clear if the maintenance of status quo order by the judge, should be effective before the announcement of the removal of the AEDC management or after the decision was taken as of Monday.
But the sharehokders in the ex-parte motion had sought an order restraining the AGF, CBN, BPE and Ministry of Finance from interfering with the operations and management of AEDC.
They also sought the legal directive to restrain UBA and its parties from taking over the shareholders equity in the DisCo.