Law  

Court awards N2.7 billion against Dangote over breach of contract

Aliko Dangote

The Federal High Court, Lokoja, Kogi State, has ordered Dangote Group Plc, and three of its subsidiaries to pay N2,697,125,000 billion to a mining firm over breach of contract.  

The other subsidiaries are Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Cement Plc, and Dangote Industries Plc.

The trial judge, Phoebe Ayua made the order while delivering judgment in a suit filed in 2014 by a mining company, Quest Two Enterprises Ltd and its Chief Executive Officer, Sir Paul Akanegbu.

The plaintiffs had filed the action, claiming various sums for breach of contract, special damages and specific performance of Dangote’s obligations contained in two Memoranda of Understanding dated January 2, 2014 and February 10, 2014.

Dangote had counterclaimed for N3billion, stating that the action of the plaintiffs in the construction and erection of electricity poles and other structures amounted to trespass on their mining lease area but the court dismissed their counterclaim.

In his decision, the judge noted that during trial, Dangote’s sole witness, Mr Victor Mohan, General Manager to the Group, had admitted under cross-examination that his employers, with a promise of paying compensation had dismantled the Plaintiffs 33KVA power lines, an act which shut down the mining operations of the plaintiffs since 2014.

However, the judge noted that the defendants failed to pay any compensation to the plaintiffs.

While Lagos lawyer, Pius Ugochukwu Nnoli represented the Plaintiffs, Noah Abdul from the firm of O.J Onoja (SAN) represented the defendants.

Consequently, the court, following a motion filed by judgment creditor seeking to enforce the payment of the judgment sum has also granted a Garnishee Order Nisi against 21 banks where the Judgement debtors may have funds for attachment to satisfy the judgment debt.

But in a swift reaction, the Dangote defence team have filed a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.

They have also brought an application before the lower court for stay of execution of the judgment. Same is now slated for hearing on January 9, 2018.

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