Legal Nigeria

Court restrains woman from running late doctor’s firm

By Joseph Onyekwere

Federal High Court, Lagos

Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, restrained Mrs. Oluwayemisi Ajayi from dealing with or running the affairs of her estranged husband’s firm as a sole surviving director/shareholder pending the hearing and determination of the main suit.

The firm, First Foundation Medical Engineering Company Ltd, was owned and registered in accordance with the law, by the late Dr. Tosin Ajayi.

The judge, Tijjani Ringim, made the order following an ex-parte application by Dr. Ajayi’s daughter, Miss Tomisin Ajayi, and his widow, Mrs. Helen Prest-Ajayi.

Their application sought to restrain Oluwayemisi from running the affairs whatsoever of the first respondent company.

The other respondents are Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); Mrs. Oluwayemisi Ajayi; and M. Patrick Abak, a lawyer.

According to the application, Dr. Ajayi was a renowned medical doctor, businessman, and philanthropist before his demise on April 26, 2020.

He was married to Oluwayemisi and they had children. But they were separated for 35 years before Tosin’s demise.

In the course of the separation, he married former Miss Nigeria, Helen Prest-Ajayi and they had a child, Tosin, who lived with Prest-Ajayi until his demise.

The applicants, through their counsel Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), brought an ex-parte application, praying the court for an interim injunction against Oluwayemisi and her privies from dealing in the assets of the company as a sole surviving director/shareholder, pending the hearing and determination of the main suit. They also prayed the court to restrain the third respondent, Oluwayemisi, her representative or privies from interfering howsoever in the business undertaking or other activities of the first respondent (the company) until an extraordinary general meeting is called for the purpose of appointing one or more director(s).

The applicants stated that the number of directors had fallen below the statutory minimum of two in accordance with Section 239 and 271 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020.

The applicants also prayed the court for an order to serve the originating summons and other subsequent court processes on the third respondent by substituted means in lieu of personal service.

The application was supported by an affidavit deposed to by Miss Tomisin Ajayi, the sole surviving daughter of the deceased.

After listening to the argument of the applicant’s counsel, Justice Ringim, granted all the prayers made by the applicant.

He restrained the respondents from carrying out or dealing with any assets of the company pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

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