Thu. Apr 15th, 2021

$47m Debt: Jan. 14, For Hearing of Shoprite’s Application To Unfreeze Account

$47m Debt: Jan. 14, For Hearing of Shoprite’s Application To Unfreeze Account

Justice Mohammed Liman of a Lagos Federal High Court, has fixed January 14, 2021, for hearing of an application filed by Shoprite Checker (PYT), sekkimg to unfreeze its accounts.

It would  be recall that Justice Liman had on August 17, frozen Shoprite’s account, while granting an exparte application, filed before him by Professor Taiwo Oshipitan (SAN) counsel to A.I.C Limited, a multinational firm belonging to late Harry Akande.

AIC Limited had approached the court with an exparte application for an order of Mareva injunction restraining Shoprite Checker (PTY), described as a Judgment Debtor, its privies, officers, nominees, successors-in-title, subsidiaries or anyone acting through it or by it from transferring, assigning, charging, disposing of its trademark, franchise and intellectual property in a manner that will alter, dissipate or remove these non cash assets from the court’s jurisdiction.

The applicant had also asked the court for an order of Mareva injunction restraining Shoprite Checkers (PYT) its privies, officers, nominees, successors-in-title, subsidiaries or anyone acting through it or by it from transferring, assigning, charging, disposing of its other assets including but not limited to trade receivables, trade payables, payment for purchase of merchandise within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court.

It also asked the court for an order of Mareva Injunction restraining Shoprite Checker, its privies, officers, nominees, successors-in-title, subsidiaries or anyone acting through it or by it from transferring, assigning, charging, disposing of its other assets including but not limited to trade receivables, trade payables, payment for purchase of merchandise within the jurisdiction of the Court.

The applicant also requested for an order restraining Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, from making any financial payments whether by itself, privies. officers, nominees, successors-in-title, subsidiaries or anyone acting through it or by it to Shoprite Checker under the Administration and Technical Services Agreement between the Shoprite and it, in order not to render the Judgment of the Court of Appeal in Suit No: CA/L/288/2018 nugatory or the anticipated judgment from the Supreme Court in the appeal filed by it.

It further asked for an order of the court compelling and mandating the Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, to disclose its Audited Financial Statements for the years ending 2018 and 2019 to enable it determine the amount of the Shoprite Checker’s funds in its custody in order to preserve same in satisfaction of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Appeal No: CA/L/288/2018.

A.I.C Limited also asked the court to restraining the Registrar of Trademarks, from recognizing any sale or assignment of any trademark, franchise of whatever kind reflecting any transaction by either Shoprite Checker or the Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, in connection with the corporate existence or approving any pending royalty(ies), interest, management fee, trade payment for the Shoprite Checker Limited, of the anticipated judgment turn but not less than $12.4 Million US Dollars and 10% post judgement interest per annum of the subsisting valid judgment debt.

The applicant also asked the court for an Order compelling and mandating the fourth Respondent (NOTAP) to disclose all pending requests by the Respondent for accrued payment in favour of Shoprite Checker, to be remitted outside Nigeria. And an order directing Shoprite Checker and Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, to maintain the status quo by preserving the terms of the Administration and Technical Services Agreement in order not to render the judgment of the Court of Appeal in this Suit No. Appeal No: CA/L/288/2018, nugatory

Shoprite’s efforts to have the order upturned and have its accounts unfreeze on two occasions did not succeed.

At the resumed hearing of Shoprite’s application to again have its account unfreeze last Thursday, its counsel, Pereniami Momodu leading Tobi Oluwasanya, informed the court that there is a pending motion to set aside the exparte order.

The counsel also told the court that the plaintiff served their chambers with an application for extention of time to file it’s counter affidavit. Adding that the exparte order has lapsed, having exceeded the 14 days. “The plaintiff was served with the motion to set aside since August but waited till December to file it’s counter affidavit”, the counsel stated.

But A.I.C’s counsel, Prof. Oshipitan (SAN) told the court that he needed more time to response to submission to the Shoprite’s motion. He therefore asked for a short date to file the response.

Justice Liman, afted listened to bofht parties, adjourned the matter till January 14, 2021, for hearing of all application relating to motion to set aside the Mareva order of injunction.