Nigeria: $47m Debt - Court Refuses to Vacate Order Against Shoprite

(file photo).

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday declined to vacate an ex-parte order stopping popular retail store, Shoprite Checker (PYT) from relocating out of Nigeria over an alleged $47 million debt.

Lewis-Allagoa reached the decision while delivering ruling on an application to discharge the ex-parte orders filed by the promoters of the retail store.

The judge held that the application is lacking in merit, an abuse of court processes and dismissed the same accordingly.

The court also gives Shoprite Checker (PYT) Limited 14 days, to comply with the orders made by Justice Mohammed Liman before adjourning the matter till July 14, for the alleged judgment debtor, Shoprite Checker (PYT), to file and show compliance.

Justice Liman had on August 17, 2020 granted the ex-parte application filed and argued by Prof. Taiwo Oshinpitan (SAN), counsel to A.I.C. Limited.

Others listed as second to fourth respondents are Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, The Registrar of Trademarks and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

In the Mareva application, A.I.C Limited had asked the court for an order restraining Shoprite Checker (PTY), (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, which described itself as a judgement creditor, 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 the purchase of merchandise within the jurisdiction of this honourable court.

A.I.C. limited equally asked for an order directing the second respondent to file an Affidavit to show compliance with the Court's Orders, within seven days of service of orders.

Justice Liman had granted the application after listening to the submissions of Prof. Oshinpintan.

Dissatisfied with the order, ShopRite Checker (or PYT) Limited approached the court with an application to set aside and discharge the order. The application was equally countered by the Judgment creditor.

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