The management of the Sun Publishing Limited has appealed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from sealing the company’s corporate headquarters.
The appeal was contained in a statement by the management of the media outfit, titled: “EFCC visit to The Sun office with armed policemen: Our Stand,” and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria.
The management of the Sun Publishing Limited said Malami should advise EFCC appropriately on the legal consequences of such an action if implemented.
It said that the appeal became necessary following the visit by three officials of the EFCC with four heavily armed policemen on Saturday at about 10 am to its corporate headquarters in Lagos.
It said: “They arrived at the corporate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Limited at 2, Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Layout, Apapa, Lagos and put up a notice for the staff and the general public to keep off the premises.
“The EFCC officials, who came in a white Toyota bus with registration number, ABUJA BWR-644GA, wrote on The Sun’s fence, ‘EFCC, keep off.’
“They also advised our staff to collect their personal belongings from the office as they will come back to seal the premises completely.”
The management of the media outfit stated in the statement that they did not understand the legal basis for the EFCC’s action.
It said: “It is on record that there is a pending appeal at the Supreme Court with Suit No: SC/546/2018 wherein The Sun Publishing Limited appealed against the Judgement delivered by the Court of Appeal on the interim forfeiture order made against it by a Federal High Court in 2007 based on ex parte proceeding.
“The Notice of Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution were duly served on EFCC by the bailiffs of the Court.
“It is also pertinent to state that EFCC vide a letter written by Counsel to The Sun Publishing Limited, dated May 22, 2018, and duly received by one Caleb Peter on behalf of Rotimi Jacobs & Co. was further put on notice of the pending appeal at the Supreme Court.
“It was also advised to stay action in the matter pending the hearing of the Motion for Stay of execution and the appeal.
“It is instructive to state that The Sun Publishing Limited is not a party to the case of EFCC vs. Orji Uzor Kalu & 2 Others.
“So, we do not see why the Judgment, in that case, should lead to attempt to seal The Sun Publishing Limited premises.”
The publishing company said it was aware that both Kalu and Slok Nigeria Limited had since appealed the judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris and a hearing date given.
It said: “We wish to reiterate that The Sun Publishing Limited is an ongoing corporate limited liability company and its shares are owned by various individuals distinct from Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
“Therefore, the recent Judgment against Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu should not be used to disturb the operations of the company and the proprietary rights of its innocent shareholders until the matters are dispensed with at the Supreme Court.”
Efforts by NAN to get the reactions of the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, was not successful.
Uwujaren did not pick calls made to his phone number by NAN as at the time of filing this report.