The management of The Sun Publishing Limited has written to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from sealing the company’s corporate headquarters.
The newspaper also made its letter to Mr. Malami available to journalists via a statement on Saturday.
The news outfit requested Malami to advise EFCC appropriately on the legal consequences of such action if implemented.
The newspaper is one of the companies founded by the former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Kalu, who was convicted last week and jailed 12 years for N7.65 billion fraud.
Three EFCC officials arrived The Sun headquarters in Lagos on Saturday with four heavily armed policemen “with a notice for the staff and the general public to keep off the premises.”
“They also advised our staff to collect their personal belongings from the office as they will come back to seal the premises completely,” the statement stated.
The management of the media outfit said they did not understand the legal basis for EFCC’s action.
“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 judgment 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 the action in the matter pending the hearing of the Motion for Stay of execution and the appeal,” the statement said.
The management also said the company as an entity it was not listed as a party to the case involving Orji and Slok Nigeria Limited.
“So, we do not see why the judgment, in that case, should lead to attempt to seal The Sun Publishing Limited premises,” it said.
The publishing company added that it was aware that both Kalu and Slok Nig. Limited had appealed the judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris and a hearing date given.
“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 Sen. 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,” the statement stated.