The Founder and Chairman, Arik Air, Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide was today denied entry into the airline headquarters premises in Lagos by security officers attached to the airline.
According to the Chief Security Officer, CSO, who gave his name as D Tom West said, the receivership manager, Kamilu Alaba Omokide instructed that, Sir Johnson should not be granted access into the airline premises.
The action according to Chief Arumemi-Ikhide is against the court order as granted for an unfettered access into the premises in a recent ruling by the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division.
The court had ruled that the receivership of Arik Air does not preclude restricting access to the premises, Arumemi-Ikhide explaining their reasons for coming and their earlier visit to the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Capt. Roy Illegbodu and the chief Finance officer on the 4th of April in line with the court order, the CSO did not budge insisting he was doing his duty of keeping to instructions.
“The instruction is from above, am just an employee, they are not around”.
He added, “The receiver manager gave an instruction not to allow you in and I am not aware of the court order but it is the media, we cannot give you access to get into the compound, I’m very sorry that I’m keeping you people under the sun”.
“We have the directive to deny you access. I’m obliged to respect the directive from receiver manager.”
It could be recalled that, the founder of Arik Air, Sir Johnson Arumemi Ikhide, and his wife, Mary Arumemi Ikhide (plaintiffs) in 2021 filed an originating motion dated December 14, 2021, and prayed the court that the duty imposed on the receiver-manager, Kamilu Alaba Omokide (first defendant) by section 553 of the CAMA 202O 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.”
The Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON had taken over the management of Arik Air since 2017 and appointed a receiver-manager, Kamilu Alaba Omokide for the airline.
Denied entry into the airline company, Chief Arumemi-Ikhide and his aides who accompanied him drove down to the Divisional Police Station at the local airport where he made a statement.
Speaking with reporters who witnessed the mild drama at the Arik headquarters, Arumemi-Ikhide said, he was shocked that, he was treated this way after the management had showed and promised to cooperate with the court order.
“I was in the Arik Complex today 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 chairman of the board came to the office today. Being aware of the service of the order of court on the company and having met the management led by Capt Roy Ilegbodu (CEO) on Wednesday 4th April 2023 with whom I discussed the orders made by the court and I 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”.
He added, “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”.