Owners of Daily Times Disowns DTN 91 Heroes Award, Say Ceremony Illegal

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• Reveal that Fidelis and Noel Anosike aren’t newspaper’s shareholders •Former Editor: You can’t stop award

BY Obinna Chima

A day to the much advertised ‘DTN 91 Heroes Award’ being organised by Fidelis Anosike and Noel Anosike, the owners of Daily Times of Nigeria Plc, have said the event is “illegal and criminal.”

In a statement dated May 12, 2017 and titled: ‘Re: Daily Times of Nigeria at 91 Heroes Award,’  obtained by THISDAY yesterday, they described the Anosikes as impostors.

Claiming to be relying on the judgments of the Federal High Court in Lagos and Court of Appeal, the owners alleged that the Anosikes are neither officers, directors nor shareholders of Daily Times of Nigeria.

The statement signed by the Company Secretary, L.A. Idu, added that the Anosikes do not have the authority of the company to organise any ceremony on its behalf.

They therefore warned members of the public and organisations interested in participating in the ceremony in any manner that they would be complicit in criminal conspiracy for which appropriate legal sanctions would apply.

They drew attention to the certified true copies of the status report of DTN issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on May 12,  2017, and addressed to the Inspector General of Police; Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) respectively, showing the current officers of the company, as to chairman, directors, shareholders and secretary, confirming that the Anosikes are not directors or shareholders in the company.

“The Board of Directors of The Daily Times Nigeria Plc wishes to inform the general public that the so called Daily Times of Nigeria at 91 Heroes Award ceremony being organised by one Fidelis Anosike and Noel Anosike is illegal and criminal.

“Fidelis Anosike and Noel Anosike are impostors and are not officers of The Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN) in any capacity whatsoever, neither as directors nor as shareholders and do not have the authority of the company to organise any ceremony on its behalf.

“The general public is hereby warned that any person or organisation, etc, that participate in this ceremony in any manner whatsoever will be complicit in a criminal conspiracy for which appropriate legal sanctions shall apply. Please be advised and warned accordingly,” it stated.

Also obtained by THISDAY were CAC letters to the EFCC and other security agencies showing that the company registration number is 149, with date of registration put at  June 6, 1925.

The letters were signed by Aisha T. Tijani on behalf of the Registrar-General, CAC.

The names of directors of DTN were listed to include Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah as Chairman.

Others listed were Chinedu Oranuba, Chidi Ofodile, Hon. Joseph Chukwudi Okeke, Emeka Mbonu, Mohammed Zakariya Usman, Rashide Adepoju, Douglas Mbonu-Sam and Emma Nsoedo.

The letters also listed other shareholders to include: Arkngel Global Limited, Bontez Corporate and Allied Services Limited,  DVS Limited, various shareholders, Independence Day Publications Limited, Wiparquet Limited

Meanwhile, a former Publishing Editor with the company, Mr. Bonaventure Melah, has commended the Fidelis Anosike-led management of the foremost Nigerian newspaper for efforts being put in place for its forthcoming Heroes Award to commemorate Daily Times 91st anniversary.

In a press statement released yesterday, Bonaventure said from what he has seen so far, the Daily Times Heroes Award is set to be the biggest and most successful event of its kind in Nigerian history.

He also hailed Daily Times management for repositioning the paper, in spite of the challenges currently posed to mainstream media by social media and other mass communication platforms, adding however that attempts by some misguided elements to cause irritation over the coming event is dead even before delivery.

“I worked with Daily Times as Assistant News Editor for two years before taking up appointment elsewhere with politicians. I returned to Daily Times in 2013 as Publishing Editor and was there till 2015 when I left to serve as Special Assistant to the Director General of Voice of Nigeria under secondment by the management of Daily Times led by Mr. Fidelis Anosike.

“You cannot but commend the vision, the commitment, the devotion and sacrifice that Anosike has made to bring Daily Times back to life after many decades that the paper went into limbo. There is no doubt that the Heroes Award would further help to take the paper to the number one position that has been the dream of its management,” Bonaventure said.

He, however, described as laughable, attempt by disgruntled elements and enemies of progress to use the social media to attempt to discredit the coming event, saying that Nigerians are used to such negative antics of envious irritants.

“You cannot reap the sweat of another man. After winning the bid and legitimately acquiring Daily Times, Fidelis Anosike has put in all of his life into bringing the newspaper into limelight and in the process won all the legal battles associated with its ownership. Making posts on social media over the coming event is a clear evidence of what we call ‘bad belly’ in Nigerian parlance. Nigerians are looking forward to the coming Heroes Award,” Bonaventure concluded.