Breach of contract :court orders Keystone bank to pay Chinese firm $778,118.72
A Federal high court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria has ordered Keystone Bank Limited to pay a Chinese company Hexing Electrical company damages in the sum of $778,118.72 over a breach of contract.
The judgement of the court was sequel to a suit filed before the court against Keystone Bank Limited, Chris International Agencies company and Central bank of Nigeria as defendants, claiming the sum of $778,118.72 being the total outstanding sum of the money due and payable under the irrevocable letter of credit issued by the bank sometime in September, 2015. to the Chinese company. Keystone bank on 16th of September, 2015 issued letter of credit in favour of Hexing Electrical company limited, a company registered under the laws of the Peoples Republic of China in the sum of $1,134,545,subject to the provisions of uniform custom and practice for documentary credit. The bank paid $336,421.28 in varying installments to the company, however despite all demands for the payment of the balance of $798,108.70 the bank refused, the bank only paid additional $20,000, Consequently the company petitioned Central bank of Nigeria,thereafter the company instituted this suit against the bank and two others. The case of the third defendant Chris International Agencies was that by memorandum of understanding with Hexing Electrical, they form a consortium known as Chris Ejike Hexing consortium for the purpose of carrying on the business of production, supply and installation of meters in Nigeria, the company entered into a supply and installation agreement with the Enugu Electricity Distribution company, for the supply and installation of indoor, ring type meters with sealableterminal cover. According to Chris International Agencies company the total value of the contract was N485,587,958.10, that the Hexing Electrical company was to manufacture the meters and in accordance with the specification agreed with Enugu Electrical Distribution Company, that it was for this purpose that the Chris international Agencies took letter of credit with Keystone bank in favour of Hexing Electrical Company, which Keystone bank had paid part of the sum $356,421.28 that Hexing Electrical company did not manufacture the meters according to specification and the contract was subsequently terminated by Enugu Electrical Distribution Company. Chris International Agencies alleged that Hexing Electrical company perpetrated fraud deliberately and as a such not entitled to further payment on the letter of credit. At the hearing of the case Keystone bank did not file any counter affidavit, its lawyer said the bank will abide by whatever decision the court takes. In his judgement the presiding Judge Nicholas Oweibo ,said the bank did not deny the existence of contract between it and the Hexing Electrical company, the company has through its affidavit in support shown that the bank failed to completely honour its own part of the contract. The evidence has indeed established that Keystone bank is in breach of its contract with the company ” Considering the above I am of the view that Keystone is in breach of the contract it had with Hexing Electrical company. It has been established that the bank had kept in its custody the sum claimed contrary to the terms of the letter of Credit even after the company had accepted to receive naira equivalent. In the circumstances the company is entitled to 10% interest per annum on the judgement sum of $778,118.72 from the day of judgement until liquidation of the judgement sum The complaint of fraud in this case is not in respect of the documentation of the letter of credit. The fraud complaint of is with respect to the goods:that the plaintiff did not meet the specification. In the light of the above I enter judgment for the plaintiff and grant its prayers by ordering that Keystone bank pay damages to Hexing Electrical company limited in the sum of $778,118.72 being the money due and payable under the irrevocable letter of credit, an order that the bank pay the company interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of judgement until the liquidation of the judgement debt.”
Lasaco Assurance: Looking Good For The Future By Rilwan Oshinusi
Facebook Announces its New Office in Lagos, Nigeria
As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent. Aimed at supporting the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region, the office is expected to become operational in H2 2021 and will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.Facebook’s office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.Commenting, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation said: “The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world. All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.” The investment of the new Facebook office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, its first flagship community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of a Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance. Providing outsourced support to all English-speaking advertisers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the SBG office supports Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) through its Advocacy, Community & Education (ACE) programme, as well as its Marketing Expert sales programmes – all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses. “Our new office in Nigeria presents an important milestone which further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the region”, commented Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s Director of Public Policy, Africa. “Our mission in Africa is no different to elsewhere in the world – to build community and bring the world closer together, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this will create, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.” Since the opening of its first office in 2015, Facebook has made a number of investments across the continent, aimed at supporting and growing the tech ecosystem, expanding and providing reliable connectivity infrastructures and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally. This includes the recent rollout of its SMB Grants programme in Nigeria and South Africa, aimed at supporting over 900 businesses by providing a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild from COVID. The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, as well as its ongoing training programmes across the continent which support various communities including students, SMBs, digital creatives, female entrepreneurs, start-up’s and developers. Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa,said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria. Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms. The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent.”
Billionaire Businessman, Harry Akande, Battles Shoprite
Billionaire Harry Ayoade Akande towers above many of his contemporaries, particularly because he has been in warm embrace of fame for many decades.
Beyond his famed status as a successful businessman, he has also remained very relevant owing to his uncommon brilliance, a quality that has endeared him to many across the globe.
The Agbaoye of Ibadan, who set out to pursue his dreams quite early in life, had served as a business advisor and consultant to many other businessmen, including governments of several nations.
The world-class businessman in the past has scored many firsts in the nation’s business climate to the envy of many of his competitors.
Indeed, he would have scored yet another first in 2005, as the South African retail store, Shoprite, had several meetings with his company, AIC Limited, and agreed his company would be the exclusive operator and manager of its brand across West Africa, except Ghana where the Shoprite brand was already established.
Consequently , there were a series of business meetings between Akande’s representatives and Shoprite Checkers first in South Africa on April 16, 1998 and then at Akande’s office in Victoria Island, Lagos on May 27, 1998.
Shoprite was also said to have flown in representatives who were shown possible locations for retail stores at some locations ,including Lekki Roundabout, Trade fair Complex and Lagos National Theatre, Iganmu.
But when the South African retail giant was ready to commence operations in Nigeria, it allegedly sidelined Akande’s AIC and incorporated another company, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, and began using the new entity to operate in Nigeria, thereby breaching agreements between them.
The billionaire was upset and this led to a prolonged legal battle with Akande securing a 2018 major victory against the South African retail group for breaching contract between both parties in Suit No LD/488/2010 —AIC Limited (Claimant) v Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Ltd of South Africa and Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (Defendants).
However, Shoprite owners appealed the judgement, while the Ibadan, Oyo State-born billionaire secured another victory in May 2020 at the appellate court.
Though the three-man panel of Court of Appeal , Lagos Division, didn’t agree to Akande’s cross appeal, demanding 50 per cent of $92.3million as loss of profit he suffered due to the incorporation of Retail Supermarkets Limited, it unanimously affirmed the judgment of a Lagos High Court that awarded $10 million (N4.7 billion) damages against Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited.
Apart from the $10 million award, the court had directed the South African retail giant to pay 10 percent per annum on the damages, with effect from the date of judgment until the final liquidation of the entire sum.
Consequently, the shrewd businessman has initiated a fresh legal battle at the Federal High Court to halt Shoprite Checkers’ exit moves out of Nigeria until the entire sum demanded is paid to the last kobo.
The billionaire, through his company, has got an ex-parte application for an order of Mareva Injunction restraining the South African retail giant, 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.
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