Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of ThisDay Media, Arise Magazine and Arise News Channel, has been banned from serving as director of a company in the United Kingdom for seven years.
A copy of the judgment showed that the company had zero turnover and as of December 31, 2013, it had recorded losses of £3,854,112 and debts of £1,545,883.
The application for disqualification was made under Section 6 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and arose from the compulsory liquidation of Arise Networks Ltd of which Obaigbena was the sole director since its incorporation on October 30, 2012.
Obaigbena was said to have found it difficult to transfer funds to Arise due to the restriction on foreign exchange imposed by the Federal Government.
In December 2014, the company had expense debts of more than £3million. The debt owed to creditors led to increased pressure from late 2014 onwards due to the company’s inability to pay off its debts.
“As at 31 December 2014, the total losses were £12,922,174, with trade creditors (which includes those working for the company) of £3,737,445 and associates being £14,407,929. By 31 December 2015, the total losses were £24,913,106 with the trade creditors (which includes those working for the company) in the sum of £5,635,596 and associates being £19,681,779. By 22 April 2016, the total losses were £25,671,167, trade creditors (which includes those working for the company) £5,850,730 and associated companies £20,313,691. The trade creditors rose by £2,113,285 even taking into account that certain liabilities have been discharged. The associated companies’ debt during this period rose by in excess of £5 million,” the judgment read.
Reports said employees had stopped going to work after they were not paid for months.
The court ruled that the case is that of unreliability rather than dishonesty with no certainty of when debts would be paid.