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Court Fines L.M. Ericsson N800m Over Breach Of Contract 

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An FCT High Court has awarded a cumulative fine of  N800 million against L.M. Ericsson Nigeria Ltd, a foreign international company, for breaching a contract it entered with a Nigerian firm, Aqua Oli Nigeria Ltd, in 2006.

Justice Chizoba Orji, in her judgment, held that though the initial contract sum was N171 million, she cannot but agreed with the claimant on a 21 percent per annum interest sum on the initial amount from February 2006 when the job was executed.

Justice Orji also ordered a 10 percent per annum interest thereafter on the said amount until the judgment sum is fully liquidated.

She held that the court took judicial notice that the naira had drastically lost its value from 2006 to 2023, 17 years after the contract was executed.

“In the instant case, the claimant has been deprived of his money for services rendered to the 1st defendant (Ericsson) since 2006 which has paralysed the business of the claimant,” she said.

The judge, who ordered an award of N10 million as general damages against the company, declared that “by failing to pay for the three clearing contract jobs which culminated in this suit, the 1st defendant is in breach of contract.”

“Therefore, I enter judgment in favour of the claimant against the 1st defendant only,” she said.

Although the claimant’s counsel, Chief Duro Adeyele, SAN, asked for N500,000 cost of filing the case against Ericsson, the company’s lawyer, Adeleke Adepoju, urged the court to dismiss the application.

Adeyele, who applied for N500,000 cost, said: “We have spent 17 years on this matter and since 2007, we have been in court. We have spent money bringing our witnesses to court.”

But Adepoju argued that the delay in the matter was mostly contributed by Nigeria Telecommunications Ltd (the 2nd defendant) being liquidated, among others.

The judge, however, awarded the sum of N200,000 against Ericsson as the cost of instituting the suit.

“A successful litigant is entitled to costs. The suit lasted 16 years in court. This is a very long time.

“However, this matter unfortunately suffered some serious hiccups before its determination today,” the judge said in the judgment delivered on April 17 but its certified true copy (CTC) was made available on Thursday.

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Justice Orji, who agreed with the claimant that the 2nd defendant did not breach any contract with it, dismissed all the reliefs sought against Nigeria Telecommunications  Ltd.

“I have carefully read Exhibits P2 & D2 and I am unable to agree with the 1st defendant that the 2nd defendant engaged the claimant to clear and deliver three consignments (at the Apapa Port and Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos State) that resulted in this suit.

“It was therefore the 1st defendant that engaged the claimant to clear and deliver the three consignments of equipment.

“If the 2nd defendant had engaged the claimant, it would not be talking about ‘reimbursement’ of clearing expenses but payment as it would be paying the claimant directly,” she held.

 While the claimant called two witnesses, the 1st defendant called a witness in the matter that lasted for no fewer than 16 years, while the 2nd defendant did not call any witness.

Aqua Oli Nigeria Ltd had, in the suit number: FCT/HC/CV/1244/08 filed by Chief Duro Adeyele, SAN, sued L.M. Ericsson Nigeria Ltd and Nigeria Telecommunications Ltd as 1st and 2nd defendants.

In the amended statement of claim filed on March 29, 2019, the claimant sought four claims against Ericsson.

These include “a declaration that by failing to pay for the three clearing contract jobs which culminated to this suit, the 2nd defendant is in breach of contract.

“The sum of N171, 409, 606.71 being agreed liquidated sum owing, due and payable by either or both 1st and 2nd defendants to the claimant for services rendered by the claimant at the Apapa Port and Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos and cost of haulage of the consignments to the 2nd defendant’s warehouses at the request of the 1st defendant on three different occasions for three clearing jobs in the year 2006.

“Interest on the said sum of N171,409, 606.71 at the rate of 21 percent per annum from February 2006 to the date of judgment and thereafter at the rate of 10 percent per annum until the Judgment debt is finally liquidated.

“General damages in the sum of N10 million for breach of contracy.”

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Energy

Makinde Places Oyo State On Road Towards Electricity Sustainability

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May Day: We’ll not delay action on new minimum wage – Makinde

…Signs Electricity Regulatory Commission bill into law

Oyo State may finally be moving towards self-sufficiency in Electricity generation and supply as Gov. Seyi Makinde on Friday signed into law, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission Bill 2024.

Makinde, signing the bill in Ibadan, said it was to give the state the opportunity to develop its roadmap to sustainable electricity.

He said: ”This law will enable Oyo state to generate, transmit, and distribute electricity within the state.

“With the decentralisation of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution, it has become obvious that Nigerians can access dividends of democracy if federalism is practised as it should be and more powers devolved to the states.

“Amendments of the constitution like this is what we mean when we advocate for fiscal federalism.

“In years to come as we work towards energy sufficiency, our people can hold state governments accountable on the issue of electricity supply”.

Earlier, the state House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Mr Mohammed Fadeyi, said that signing the bill into law would make it the first time the state would come up with an independent electricity project.

Government functionaries that witnessed the occasion include the Deputy Gov., Chief Bayo Lawal; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo; and Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Segun Ogunwuyi.

The Head of Service, Mrs Olubunmi Oni, and Commissioner for Energy, Mr Temilolu Ashamu, were also present.

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Energy

TCN Says Grid, Finally Restored

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says the national grid has been restored after it collapsed at about 1.49 p.m. on Tuesday.

The General Manager Public Affairs of TCN, Mrs Ndidi Mbah said this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

Mbah said ”The grid experienced a collapse today.  Presently, supply has been restored except for the Jos Axis, which will soon have supply within the hour.

”The collapse happened by 1.49 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon and It is now fully restored”.

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Energy

Nigeria, Germany Sign $500m Renewable Energy Pact, Gas Export Agreement

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Nigeria and Germany have signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on the supply of gas from Nigeria to Germany and another $500 million worth of renewable energy projects in Nigeria

A statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said President Bola Tinubu witnessed the signing of the two MoUs on the sidelines of the 10th German-Nigeria Business Forum on Tuesday in Berlin, Germany.

The signing is part of the burgeoning economic partnership between Nigeria and Germany as well as a further expansion and strengthening of their bilateral ties.

The agreements are between Riverside LNG of Nigeria and Johannes Schuetze Energy Import AG of Germany on the gas export partnership, while the other is between Union Bank of Nigeria and DWS Group on cooperation in renewable energy.

CEO of GasInvest, Mr David Ige, who signed the MoU on gas supply, said the Riverside LNG project aims to supply energy from Nigeria to Germany, extinguishing about 50 million cubic feet per day of flared gas in Nigeria.

”The project will supply energy from Nigeria to Germany at 850,000 tonnes per annum, expanding to 1.2 million tonnes per annum.

”The first gas will leave Nigeria for Germany in 2026, and there will be further expansion.

‘’This will extinguish about 50 million cubic feet per day of flared gas in Nigeria and open alleyways of new and greater exports of gas to Germany,’’ he said.

The German partners expressed confidence in investing in Nigeria’s gas sector.

Chief Operating Officer of Johannes Schuetze Energy Import AG, Mr Frank Otto, described the partnership as a “big deal” for the German market.

Chairman of Union Bank, Mr Farouk Gumel, disclosed the commitment of $500 million for e-energy projects in Nigeria, emphasizing the importance of rural inclusion and bringing more people into the formal economy.

”We believe this would bring rural inclusion and capture more people into the formal economy. Without inclusion, there is no growth. Thank you, Mr President,” Gumel said.

Welcoming the new deals, Tinubu assured German businesses that with Nigeria’s stable political landscape, foreign investments into the country are secure.

He said, ”Since 1999, we have witnessed changes in democratic governance, with peaceful transfers of power within and between parties. Democracy in Nigeria has proven to be flexible and resilient.

‘’Shake off any remnants of the military era syndrome; we have moved beyond that. Despite challenges faced by other African nations, Nigeria stands firm, and we are your partners.”

Outlining some of the achievements of his administration, which include his globally acclaimed economic reforms, Tinubu emphasized his commitment to sustaining the reforms and building stronger Nigerian-German relations.

He added, ”For those who fear various obstacles; look at me—I come from the private sector, trained by Deloitte. I served as the treasurer in Exxon Mobil.

”Define corporate governance in any way, and I am in it. I governed Lagos for eight consecutive years.

‘’Today, I can proudly beat my chest that Lagos State is on the horizon and the fifth-largest economy in Africa, rising from ground zero. This is the track record that led me to the presidency.

”Nigerians voted for me for reforms, and from day one of my inauguration, I implemented the reforms. My inaugural speech did not disclose what I would do.”

According to Tinubu, he removed the fuel subsidy that was a great burden to Nigerians from the moment he stepped into office.

”The arbitrage regime is gone forever. Now, you can bring your money in and out as you wish. If you encounter any problems, rest assured that I have built one of the most reliable teams Nigeria has seen to address them.

‘’I appeal to you to forget the past and focus on building a relationship that removes obstacles, fostering progress and prosperity in Nigerian-German relations.

”You can rely on us; we can rely on you; both of us can chorus Hallelujah at the same time,” the president said.

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