Twitter investors approved a proposed $44 billion acquisition by Elon Musk during a special shareholders meeting, setting the stage for a legal showdown to determine if the deal will be completed.

Bloomberg reported a majority of Twitter shareholders voted in favour of the takeover during the meeting yesterday (13 September).

Twitter’s board of directors and two investment companies had previously encouraged shareholders to approve the deal.

Musk attempted to walk away from the deal in July after claiming Twitter under-reported the number of spam and bot accounts on the platform.

Twitter denied his allegations and sued to make Musk complete the deal. The billionaire countersued and a court trial is scheduled to commence on 17 October.

The shareholders’ vote took place the same day Peiter Zatko, Twitter’s former head of security, told US politicians the company’s protection systems were inadequate.

Reuters reported the former staff member asserted Twitter is a “ticking bomb” of vulnerabilities and a threat to national security.

The judge in the case between Twitter and Musk ruled in favour of allowing Zatko’s testimony at the forthcoming trial.