Billionaire Dangote to head Nigeria bourse board

Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:37am EDT

* Court overturns ruling preventing Dangote taking up post

* Billionaire cement tycoon starts on Tuesday

LAGOS, June 19 (Reuters) - Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote will assume leadership of the governing board of Nigeria's stock exchange on Tuesday, after an appeal court overturned the annulment of his 2009 election.

"We are a law abiding organisation and since the court has reinstated him (Dangote), we will surely abide by that," Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) spokesman Dante Martins said by telephone.

Martins said there would be a meeting of the board on Tuesday and Dangote will be there as its president.

Dangote, Africa's richest man currently with an $11 billion fortune and a cement empire stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia, was elected to head the bourse's board in August 2009.

But just before his tenure was to begin in March 2010, shareholders of a fuel importer Forte Oil Plc obtained a High court ruling preventing him from taking it up.

They had accused the billionaire of manipulating Forte Oil's share price on a day in which it fell the maximum 5 percent allowed. The stock exchange regulator had previously cleared Dangote of any involvement in manipulation, but the court upheld the case against his election nonetheless.

Dangote owns three companies listed on the bourse -- Dangote Cement, which makes up a quarter of the exchange's market capitalisation, Dangote Flour and Dangote Sugar.

He was previously vice-president of its board. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Tim Cocks and Jon Loades-Carter)