Home Finance AMCON bars Arik Air Chairman Arumemi-Ikhide from accessing premises

AMCON bars Arik Air Chairman Arumemi-Ikhide from accessing premises

by Business News Report

Arik Air management has barred Arumemi-Ikhide Chairman of the airline from gaining access to the airline premises. The management in apparent defiance of an existing court, barred the Chairman/Founder of the airline, Chief Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide from entering the airline headquarters at the Muritala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Ikeja, Lagos. As a result  Arumemi-Ikhide has lodged a formal complaint at the MMA police station after he was told by the Chief Security Officer, CSO, of the airline that he has order “from above ” not to allow him into the premises. Arumemi-Ikhide, with some of his aides, had arrived the premises of the airline in line with the court order which granted him access to the premises.

It will be recalled that AMCON had taken over the management of Arik Air since 2017 and appointed a receiver-manager, Kamilu Omokhide for the airline. However, in 2021, the founder of Arik Air, Sir Johnson Arumemi Ikhide, and his wife, Mary Arumemi Ikhide (plaintiffs) filed an originating motion dated December 14, 2021, and prayed the court that the duty imposed on the receiver-manager, Kamilu Omokhide (first defendant) by section 553 of the CAMA 2020 to act in the best interest of Arik Air Limited as a whole, includes the duty to act in the best interest of the plaintiffs (Arumemi and Mary Ikhide) as members of Arik Air Limited.

Arumemi-Ikhide also sought an order directing the 1st & 2nd defendants “to allow the Directors and Shareholders of Arik Air Ltd unfettered access to their offices, premises of the Plaintiff, facilities and staff required for the discharge of their functions.” Following the court order which ruled that the receivership of Arik Air does not preclude restricting access to the premises, the Arik Air founder made an attempt to enter the premises of the airline. He was, however, stopped at the entrance by the security guards on duty led by the Chief Security Officer, CSO, of the airline identified as D Tom-West who said there was an order from above not to allow him access to the premises. The CSO told Arumemi that  he is only answerable to the receiver-manager as one of his employees. 

“The receiver manager gave an instruction not to allow you in. I am not aware of the court order. We cannot give you access to get into the compound. This is the instruction from above. I am very sorry that I am keeping you people under the sun.We have the directive to deny you access.  I am obliged to respect the directive from receiver manager”, the CSO said. Arumemi-Ikhide had told the CSO that he was not at the premises to harass anybody or cause any problem but to respect the order of the court which granted him access into the premises of the airline.

He also said he had a meeting with the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Finance Officer of ty airline headquarters that he would be coming around on Tuesday and that some offices should be reserved for him which they agreed. He said he was astonished that he was being denied access into the premises. 

Meanwhile, the founder, Arumemi-Ikhide had lodged a formal complaint at the Muritala Muhammed Airport, police command headquarters.

He left Arik Air premises after the encounter with the CSO and proceeded to the MMA Domestic Airport Division of the Nigeria Police Force where he wrote a statement. He also said he would report back to his lawyers who would take up the matter with the appropriate authorities. Speaking with the media later after writing his statement at the  station, Chief Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide said : ” I was in the Arik Complex today ( Tuesday) pursuant to the order of the federal high court in the suit no FHC/L/CS/1175/2021 that I should be given unfettered access into my offices in Arik Air offices order to perform my duties  with my team. 

“The court having affirmed that notwithstanding the appointment of a Receiver Manager, that the  organs of Arik Air remain intact and those organs such as the Board and Shareholders must be allowed to function. It is because of that that I being the chairman of the board came to the office today ( Tuesday ).

“Being aware of the service of the order of court on the company and having met the management led by Captain Roy Ilegbodu (CEO) on Wednesday 4th April 2023 with whom I discussed the orders made by the court and our intentions to adhere strictly to, including the orders of court to be given office spaces”. We both agreed that the orders of Court must be obeyed.  We agreed that I and my team will resume  this morning 11th April 2023 to my greatest surprise and shock I was barred entry by the CSO, Mr Tom West who claimed that he has strict instructions of the Receiver Manager Mr Kamilu Omokide to deny me and my team access contrary to the orders of court.  Every persuasion with certified copies of the orders of court, earlier served on Arik Air by the court was discountenanced. As a law abiding citizen we decided not to press any further by ourselves but rather fall back to the  processes of the law by reporting to appropriate authorities,” Arumemi-Ikhide added.

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