Court Issues Order Of Mareva Injunction Restraining Shoprite From Transferring Assets Over $10M Judgement Debt - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Court Issues Order Of Mareva Injunction Restraining Shoprite From Transferring Assets Over $10M Judgement Debt

Court Issues Order Of Mareva Injunction Restraining Shoprite From Transferring Assets Over $10M Judgement Debt

In the wake of an alleged plan to exit Nigeria, a Federal High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Mohammed Liman on 14th day of July, 2020 has issued an order of mareva injunction against Shoprite.

Prior to this order, a Nigerian company, A.I.C. Limited had in 2012 sued Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited; and Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited for alleged breach of contract.

A.I.C. Limited contended that it invited Shoprite to Nigeria and exposed it to the abundance of business opportunities present therein. This, it did, with the hope that both firms would operate a joint partnership venture.

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However, after it has incorporated ‘A.I.C.-Shoprite Nigeria Ltd.’ placing reliance on their agreement to operate a joint venture, it argued that Shoprite in flagrant breach of the agreement went to unilaterally set up its business in 2005.

Peeved by this, A.I.C. Limited approached the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja presided over by Hon. Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo to challenge what Shoprite had done and whether it was not a breach of contract to so do.

Meanwhile, after the conclusion of the trial, the learned trial Judge, in 2018 delivered his well-considered judgment and ordered Shoprite to pay $10 Million for the breach of contract.

Conversely, aggrieved with this decision, Shoprite appealed to the Court of Appeal which upheld the verdict of the High Court, discountenancing the argument of Shoprite that no agreement existed, the Appeal Court held:

“There is evidence in the record that the 1st appellant allowed the respondent to search for a suitable site for the partnership project and to apply for a lease of land for the partnership project. These involved time, energy, and money. The court below held that the conduct of the parties demonstrated intention to enter into a legal relation in respect of the partnership project.”

In further dissatisfaction with this, it has appealed to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, consequent upon an alleged plan to exit the country, A.I.C. Limited approached the Federal High Court to seek an order-preserving the res from being dissipated by Shoprite and without satisfying the Judgement debt.

Therefore, Hon. Justice Liman made a restraining order against “the judgment debtor/1st respondent,” and its privies “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 and other assets, including but not limited to trade receivables, trade payables, payment for purchase of merchandise, from within the jurisdiction of this honourable court.”

Furthermore, the Court equally ordered the 2nd Respondent, Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, “to disclose its audited financial statements for the years ending 2018 and 2019 to enable the judgment creditor/applicant determine the judgment debtor’s/respondent’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.”

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