Appeal Court Affirms N4.8bn Judgment Against Airtel
The Lagos Division of Appeal Court, has affirmed N4, 888, 434, 208 judgment debt slammed on one of the leading telecommunications firm in Nigeria, Airtel Networks Limited, by a Lagos High Court, Igbosere, over breach of contract.
The court presided by Justice O. A. Williams, in a judgment ordered Airtel to pay the Plus Limited the sum of N4. 888, 434, 208 billion, being debt for commission on services rendered by a telephony products and services Plus Limited.
The Judgment Creditor firm, Pius Limited had dragged Airtel before Justice Williams’ court alleged refusal of Airtel Networks Limited, to pay commission for services rendered by the plaintiff, after the termination of their contract.
Dissatisfied with the Justice Williams’ judgment, Airtel approached the Appeal Court for reversal of the lower court fine.
In deciding the Airtel Networks Limited’s appeal, Justice Festus Abande Ogbuinya, in his lead judgment, dismissed the appeal on three grounds of appeal against Justice Williams’ decision
The Court of Appeal dismissed Airtel’s contention that the suit, marked LD/487/2012, which Plus Limited filed to recover the N4.8bn debt, was statute-barred.
The appellate court also disagreed with Airtel that the Lagos High Court judge perverted justice in the matter. “By the Gregorian calendar computation, from May 2011 to March 2012 is a period of 10 months. It cannot be gainsaid that the period of 10 months is far less than by the six years time frame decreed by the provision of Section 8 of the Limitation Law of Lagos State”.
Appeal Court also dismissed Airtel’s contention that Justice William’s judgment was perverse.
“The judgment of the lower court, which is submissive to comprehension, is not antithetical to the pleadings and evidence presented before it by the feuding parties.
“At the same time, the lower court did not import alien/foreign matters into the judgment. It utilised the evidence the parties presented before it. The finding does not, in the least, smell of any charge of perversity levelled against it by the appellant.
“Having resolved the three issues against the appellant, the destiny of the appeal is obvious. It is devoid of any morsel of merit and deserves the penalty of dismissal. Consequently, I dismiss this appeal. I affirm the judgment of the lower court delivered on 4th October 2016″ Justice Ogbuinya ruled.
Justice Ogbuinya’s judgment was consented to by Justices Ugochukwu Ogakwu and Balkisu Aliyu, who were also on the panel.