A Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday struck out N1.8 billion suit against founder of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, by a stock brokerage firm, Valueline Securities and Investment Ltd.
Trial judge, Jude Dagat, in his ruling, described the applicants’ suit as incompetent and dismissed it for lack of jurisdiction.
Valueline Securities and Investment Ltd and its Managing Director, Samuel Enyinnaya, had in February 2015, sued Oyedepo and his family for an alleged breach of contract in a N9 billion stock market deal.
The applicants, through their counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), sued for the enforcement of their fundamental rights and were claiming a total of N1.86 billion from the defendants jointly and severally as professional fees and damages.
Joined with Oyedepo in the suit were his wife; his children and blood relatives; Priscilla, Jesutobi, Makinde and Isaac, as well as his book publishing firm.
Also sued were the World Mission Agency Inc, which is the overall ruling organ of the Winners’ Chapel; Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State; and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The applicants, in their statement of claim, averred that Oyedepo, his family and organisations entered into an Investment Portfolio Management Agreement with them.
They said that he appointed them as portfolio managers to oversee and to ensure the profitability of the said investment worth about N9 billion in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
According to the applicants, it was agreed that 2.25 per cent of the net asset value of the portfolio and an annual incentive fee of 10 per cent of the returns on the investment would be paid to the plaintiffs.
The applicants said that in order to enhance the profitability of the investment, they obtained some margin loans from some Nigerian banks, which, they claimed, turned out to be a great boost to the investment.
They, however, said trouble started when the World Mission Agency Inc ordered the sale of majority of the securities in the investment portfolio.
He averred that in spite of professional advice to the contrary, the plaintiffs were made to sell the securities to raise N3 billion needed to buy a private jet.
He said that this was a development which brought about huge loss to the investment.”
According to the applicants, following the said sale of the securities coupled with the global economic meltdown, which caused stock market across the globe to crash at the time, the N9 billion investment recorded losses.
The applicants, however, alleged that in a bid to avoid their financial obligations to the applicants, Oyedepo and his organisations accused them of fraud and mismanagement.
He averred that the defendants also wrote a petition against them to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).