Lobatse High Court last month attached and placed 70 percent of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed G4S Limited shares held by majority shareholder G4S PLC under the control and supervision of the Registrar of the High Court.
The 10th December 2014 attachment order was issued by Justice Shakes Busang in the case in which former G4S Nigeria managing director Percy Raditladi sought leave to effect service of an application against the parent company and six of its subsidiaries for repudiating the written agreement he had entered into with one or more or all of them.
Raditladi further sought an order declaring that such repudiation was a putative breach of the agreement which he prayed the court to hold dismissed and subsequently directing the respondents for compliance.
Respondents in the matter are G4S PLC, G4S International Employment Services Limited, G4S Secure Solutions (SA) (Pty) Ltd, Group 4 Securicor Nigeria Limited, G4S Nigeria Limited, G4S Secure Solutions (Nigeria) Limited and G4S Botswana Limited.
Justice Busang granted Raditladi leave to effect service through any person or officer duly authorized to effect service of court process under provisions of the Rules of the High Court.
The judge also granted that the service shall be proved by an affidavit of service in the form that is ordinarily accepted in the form used/ accepted before the court or in any manner that is ordinarily acceptable before the courts of each of the respondents’ respective countries of business.
Justice Busang also issued a provisional order returnable on the 23rd of March 2015 calling upon all the respondents to show cause, if any, why the following orders should not be made final:
* That seventy (70%) of the shares in G4S Botswana Limited held by G4S PLC be placed under attachment, under the control and supervision of the Registrar of the High Court
* That the first to sixth respondents be each directed and interdicted from taking any steps, either directly or through the agency of any third party, to dispose of or in any other way, alienate a portion of or the entirety of the first respondent’s interest in the 70 percent shares aforesaid
*. That the orders that are stated in 1 and 2 shall remain binding on the parties pending the finalization of the applicant’s application to be filed as upon reference to applicant’s founding affidavit.
The presiding judge held that his orders shall operate as an interim order binding on the parties pending return day of 23rd March 2015.
Sunday Standard investigations have revealed that Raditladi had tendered his resignation as the managing director of Groups 4 Securicor Nigeria Limited and was during his tenure as the managing director arrested by the Nigeria Economic Financial Crimes Commission on the 08th November 2010 and released on his own personal recognisance while the company was still in the process of securing his replacement both in respect of his position as managing director and as the person to avail EFCC with his personal recognisance in substitution of the personal recognisance he had furnished.
The investigations into the matter further revealed that G4S had requested Raditladi not to demand his immediate release from the personal recognizance which he had acceded to on terms and conditions that notwithstanding his resignation as managing director allow the personal recognizance he availed the EFCC to remain in place until the for the payments to him of the sum of US$ 2000 per month payable very month to his offshore account which was used for his salary payment.
The company was to be liable for all taxes on the amount.
The investigation further found that Radiltladi was allowed to serve as a director of the board of directors of the company until the bail was lifted and G4S Nigeria would be responsible for the costs of his attendance of board meetings while the company continued to clarify the issues to relevant third parties.
The company however reneged on the agreement and repudiated by removing Raditladi from the board and stopped the payment while the personal recognizance remained in force.
Aggrieved by the turn of events, Raditladi approached the High Court seeking relief to sue the respondents.
In an in interview, G4S Botswana Limited managing director Michael Kampani confirmed the 10th December High Court order explaining that it had no effect on G4S Botswana as the attached shares were privately held by the parent company.
“It has no effect. Those are private shares held by the parent company that have been attached pending the finalization of the case which our lawyers are currently working on. It also ought to be understood that only 30 percent of the remaining shares have been floated on the Botswana Stock Exchange which has been notified of the court case. They remain intact and it has no effect at all. Our lawyers are working on the matter. There is a cautionary announcement that has been issued because we believe the order was erroneously obtained. The matter has nothing to with G4s Botswana but G4s Nigeria”, said Kampani.
To buttress his point, Kampani faxed this publication a copy of the cautionary announcement that was issued by the G4S Botswana board on January 7, 2015.
The announcement states that “In terms of the Listing requirements of the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), G4s Botswana Limited (the Company) is required to announce through the BSE any circumstances or events that have or are likely to have a material effect on the share price of the Company’s securities.
“Shareholders are advised that the Company is considering developments relating to granting of an orde4r of the High Court dated 10 December 2014 against the Company, the full impact of these developments is currently being determined and may have an effect on the price of the Company’s securities. Accordingly, shareholders are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s securities until a full announcement is made.
“The Company is of the view that that the aforementioned order was erroneously granted and is taking immediate steps to resolve the matter. In addition, the company has sought legal action against the relevant party”.
Raditladi refused to field questions on the case referring enquiries to his lawyers at Makuyana Legal Practice law firm which could not be reached at press time as their office phones rang unanswered.