By Abdulwahab Abdulah
lagos—A Lagos High Court presided over by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, has awarded damages in the sum of $10 million against the owners of Shoprite Stores in Nigeria, Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited and Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited for breach of contract entered with A.I.C. Limited.
In the judgment delivered by the court, Justice Lawal-Akapo also established and held that contrary to the opinions of the defendants in the suit, (Shoprite Checkers and Retail Supermarkets), “there exists a contract between the claimant and the 1st Defendant which contract is still subsisting till date.”
According to the court which also awarded a cost of N1 million to the Claimant against the Defendants, the $10million damages must include “interest at the rate of 10% per annum effective from the date of judgment, until final liquidation of the entire sum.”
In a certified true copy of the judgment by Justice Lawal-Akapo obtained by Vanguard, the court also established that the defendants were in a breach when they went behind, “incorporated a Company, established the outlet (Shoprite) in 2005 and was running the same without recourse to the Claimant,”(A.I.C. Limited).
Already, the Defendants have appealed against the judgment of the trial court, wherein, they were praying the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
The Claimant in the suit No: LD/488/2010, where hearing commenced in 2012 urged the court among other prayers to declare that, “by virtue of the agreement between the Claimant and 1st Defendant, the joint venture to be formed by the Claimant and 1st Defendant is entitled to exclusively operate and manage 1st Defendant’s Shoprite Brand in Nigeria and elsewhere in the coast of West Africa, except Ghana.”
Beside, the claimant prayed the court for an order for specific performance of the said agreement for joint venture between the parties for the operation of Shoprite Supermarket across the country.
It further prayed the court among other things for payment of $2.2million Dollars and N13. 6 million as special damages suffered by the claimant as a result of the breach of agreement as well as an order for payment of $92.3, “being loss of profit suffered by the claimant as a result of the said incorporation of the 2nd Defendant by 1st Defendant to operate 1st Defendant’s Shoprite brand in a breach of agreement between the parties.
The Claimant also urged the court to grant to it a sum of $250milli