EKO Hospital set to offer quality care with approval of 110,000,000 shares

EKO Hospital set to offer quality care with approval of 110,000,000 shares

To ensure that EkoCorp Plc owner of Eko Hospital delivers adequate healthcare and contribute it’s quota to solving some of the challenges bedeviling healthcare delivery in Nigeria, the company on Thursday, approved the proposal to sell 110, 000,000 ordinary shares to Geoff Ohen Limited.

The resolution was reached through an electronic voting poll by the board members and some shareholders during the company’s court-ordered Extraordinary General Meeting, EGM, in Lagos.

The meeting was also attended by the representatives of regulatory bodies such as the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Security & Exchange Commission, SEC and the Registrar.

At the end of the exercise conducted by an officer of the Registrar, 79.34 percent voted in favour of the proposal to sell 110, 000,000 ordinary shares of the company to Geoff Ohen Limited while only 20.66 percent was against the proposal.

Explaining what happened, the company’s Acting Board Chairman, Prof. Joe Irukwu, said that things went well with the company until when it started experiencing some cash flow challenges.

He noted that the company then decided to source equity investment from investors when she approached Dr. Geoff Ohen of Geoff Ohen Ltd to invest in EKOCORP PLC.

Irukwu said: “The company having fallen into difficult times in 2006 and in order to shore up its financial position, she entered into a share purchase agreement with Geoff Ohen Limited to issue it’s 110,000,000 ordinary shares at N4 each in August 2007. Geoff Ohen Limited promptly paid the sum of N440, 000,00 as agreed to the company on the 3rd of August, 2007.

“There has been a dispute relating to the sale of 110,000,000 shares hinging on corporate governance issues. These had led to some court cases by interested persons at various courts and tribunals including the Investment and Securities Tribunals, the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal,” he explained.

Reacting to the approval, Irukwu said: “The resolution is in order, shareholders spoke their minds and they said the idea of EKO  hospital is a very good one and they felt somebody invested so much and they passed the resolution.

“The Registrar conducted the process and they have no choice but to support because it is in line with the feelings of most of the directors.

“We made mistakes in the past and now, we are trying to correct the mistakes and the best thing is to follow the decision and use it as a bases for correcting the the errors of the past and make sure that the company is run profitability,” the Acting Chairman said.

In an interview with Vanguard, Chief Medical Director of Eko Hospital, Dr.  Adegbite Ogunmokun, while commenting on the resolution said it was ordained by God judging by morality and how far the fund will help in resuscitating the hospital.

He said: “If you look at it on the side of morality, somebody has invested money into an organization for 13 years and he is not credited for it, he doesn’t have access to those shares, we all know that money is not easy to come by, he might have sourced the money from financial institutions and all that. So, he has been losing on this investment for so long and it’s not just fair.

“We are just in the brick of total collapse but with this resolution now and the confidence we have on the person concerned, we strongly believe that a new era will begin in that organization.

“As we speak, salaries are in the backlog of like 10 months. The staff are in the situation that they cannot take it anymore. The junior doctors are on strike now and even the consultants have given notice that they will proceed on strike on Monday,  June 6,” he said.

Protest 

However, while the voting process was going on, some shareholders of the company stages a peaceful protest at the venue, citing disenfranchisement of stakeholders and founders.

The protesting shareholders stormed the venue with placards with inscriptions ‘ Geoff Ohen Where do you get money to invest? Please invest your money somewhere else’ ‘Eneli, Kuku, Obiora Legacy Must Stand’ among others.

They said that the EGM was an illegal meeting with the intention to formalise the purported taken over of the hospital management by some shareholders and board of directors.

Speaking with newsmen, a shareholder and representative of the Dedicated Shareholders Association of Nigeira, DSAN, Mr Oladimeji Adeleke, described the EGM as a show of shame as a good number of shareholders were disenfranchised from participating in the meeting.

Adeleke specifically mentioned that 14.5 percent sharesholdings of late Dr Eneli, one of the founding fathers of Ekocorps and his Estate which were deliberately blocked out from participating in the voting on the legality or otherwise of the 110 million private placement.

According to him, if majority of shareholders, especially those belonging to late Eneli were not disenfranchised of their voting rights, the outcome of the EGM would have been different.

He said: “Today’s EGM is not a meeting but a coup against Nigerian shareholders. We can see that the meeting has been stage managed to favour some board of directors.

“This is a big slap on Nigerians’ face, it shows that the board and management of Ekocoorps have taken us for a ride. It is a daylight robbery.

“We could see that there is a board crises. The full directors are not present either by person, proxy or virtual. We can see that some founding members of the company are not also present.

“We can see that some set of people want to hijack what they didn’t work for and want to take over the company from the real owners. We are here to make our intention known in a peaceful protest.

“As Shareholders we were not allowed into the EGM on the ground that the meeting was for a selected few people and that our names were not on the registered list. I believe our regulators should look into this and do the needful so that justice will prevail.”

He decried police harassment and intimidation when they were ventilating their anger against the disenfranchisement at the venue.

Another shareholder and National Coordinator, Ark of God Shareholders Association, Mrs Efunyemi Ibideyi, said that their disenfranchisement from the meeting was delibrate and also denial of their rights.

” I have never seen this type of AGM before. We want our regulators to please look into this. It is like the board of directors are hiding somethings. Eko hospital is dying because of the crises among the board of directors.

“Staff salaries can no longer be paid. We are pensioners, we want to reap from our labour.

“The crisis is really affecting our investment. This meeting is illegal. This meeting cannot stand and all resolutions is null and void,” she said.

Ibideyi urged the relevant regulators to wake up, saying “We want the regulator to help save the masses who invested in the company and those the hospital should be serving.”

Meanwhile, the family of one of the founding fathers, Late Dr. Alexander Eneli, said they had written to GTL Registrar and Data Solutions Limited, demanding for registration as holders of the shares of deceased.

According to the letter, the family stated that the company has for long taken due notice of the transmission of the shares to them in consequence of which one of Uzochukwu Eneli has been appointed director in the place of their late father and has acted as such since 2018.

The family accused some board members of frustrating the exercise of the voting rights of their late father’s shares in order to rig the voting in the EGM in favour of one Geoff Ohen Limited.

The family said that such step was to falsely give Geoff Ohen limited 110 million shares that the courts have since annulled.

L-R; Company Secretary EkoCorp Plc, Mrs Joyce Modilim; Acting Chairman; Prof Joe Irukwu, SAN; Chief Medical Director/CEO, Dr. Adegbite Ogunmokun, Pastor. Nathaniel .S. Olurotimi, Executive Director during the Court Ordered Extra- Ordinary General Meeting of the company.

 

 

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