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Court Slams Sterling Bank, One Other With N841 Million In Damages For Unlawful Sealing

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In a suit marked EHC/216/2015, Agro Allied Development Enterprises, the claimant had sued Joma Frozen Food Limited, 1st defendant; Sterling Bank Plc, 2nd defendant and Godwin Obali Nwekoyo, 3rd defendant, following an alleged illegal sealing of its business premises by the defendants.

AHigh Court sitting in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State has slammed Sterling Bank PLC and one Godwin Obali Nwekoyo with N840.8 million in damages for allegedly sealing the premises of Joma Frozen Food Products Limited in Effurun near Warri, Delta State.

In a suit marked EHC/216/2015, Agro Allied Development Enterprises, the claimant had sued Joma Frozen Food Limited, 1st defendant; Sterling Bank Plc, 2nd defendant and Godwin Obali Nwekoyo, 3rd defendant, following an alleged illegal sealing of its business premises by the defendants.

The claimant, a registered food production and processing company through its counsel, N. Ogbannaya approached the court following the unlawful sealing of its cold room facility by the 2nd and 3rd defendants.

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The claimant sought an order of the court declaring that the sealing of the cold room facility and its continued denial of access to same, jointly and severally, by the 2nd and 3rd defendants was an act of trespass and constituted a breach of its rights.

The claimant also sought general and exemplary damages to the tune of N100 million for conversion and detinue, trespass and breach of its right to “peaceful and peaceable possession of the cold room as well as special damages to the tune of N839. 6 million as the total loss it incurred in selling its fish damaged during storage at the 1st defendant’s cold room and additional N5 million being estimated cost of filing the lawsuit”.

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According to the claimant, sometime in August and September 2015, it entered into two separate cold room lease/storage agreements with the 1st defendant (Joma Frozen Food Limited).

According to the claimant, based on the agreement, it was entitled to “peaceable and peaceful possession and quiet enjoyment of the leased property”.

It added that the 1st defendant was supposed to be responsible for all the services including the provision of power supply, and maintaining and repairing of the refrigerating units to ensure the temperature of the cold room was maintained at a preset degree.

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The claimant said that while offloading and storing frozen food valued at N2 billion in the cold room, the 3rd defendant, authorised by the 2nd defendant (Sterling Bank PLC) invaded the facility with thugs and policemen, and chased away its staff members and sealed the premises.

It said despite several warnings and pleas in view of the perishable items stored in the cold room, the 2nd defendant directed him to the 3rd defendant who insisted that he should either buy the property or make a fresh lease.

Delivering her judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Roli-Daibo Harriman held that the 1st defendant, Joma Frozen Food Products Limited, had no direct or indirect responsibility for the actions of the 2nd and 3rd defendants.

The judge held that the sealing of the cold room facility by the 2nd and 3rd defendants is an act of trespass, actions she said constituted a breach of the claimant’s “right of peaceful, peaceable possession and quiet enjoyment of its leasehold interest in the said cold room facility”.

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Harriman held, “It is the law that a claimant who makes a claim for specific damage must provide credible evidence to convince the court that he is entitled to the special damage. The claimant has not only pleaded his specific damage but has provided documents and records showing the same.

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“These are not challenged by the defendants in any way. I find that special damages have been proved. The claimant has proved its case against the 2nd and 3rd defendants and is entitled to Judgement against the said defendants jointly and severally.”

The judge, therefore, ruled that N839.6 million of the cost represents the total loss incurred by the claimant over its damaged fish while N1 million was for general damages in addition to an additional cost of N300,000.

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Rev EMF Oshoffa rounds off 2022 USA pastoral working tour

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His Eminence, Reverend Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa, Pastor and Supreme Head of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide, is about now rounding of his 2022 Pastoral Working Tour of the United States of America.

The high powered pastoral entourage would be leaving Miami, Florida, for New York on Wednesday, 28th September, 2022, and would thereafter leave for France before finally returning to base in Nigeria.

The highly successful 2022 Pastoral Working Tour of the U.S.A recorded various landmark achievements including, but not limited to forging peace and unity within the various aggrieved parties of the Celestial Church of Christ, U.S.A. Diocese.

Before departing Miami, Florida, His Eminence had a photo shoot with the shepherds, church workers and parishioners of Region ‘D’ C.C.C. U.S.A. Diocese.

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EMF With Shepherds & Church Workers.
EMF With Shepherds.
Region ‘D’ .
Region ‘D’ Parishioners.
EMF With the Region ‘D’ Family.

Superi

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Drug war: FEC approves fund for NDLEA’s armoured vehicles

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N580.5 million for the procurement of four armoured vehicles to fight dangerous and illicit drugs by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the Council’s meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said: “Today, a memo was presented by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, that is the Federal Ministry of Justice, which was relating to a parastatal under the supervision of the office of the Attorney General; the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

“The purpose of the memo was to seek approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of four customised armoured security vehicles of 14 seater model for the NDLEA.

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“The contract sum is N580, 500, 000 only inclusive of 7.5 per cent value-added tax with a delivery period of 16 weeks.”

The Minister said the decision to procure the armoured vehicles was taken to encourage and safeguard the lives of NDLEA personnel who have been working very hard with impressive results being recorded.

“It is common knowledge that of recent, the NDLEA has been repositioned and arising from the support both in terms of our capacity building, hardware and associated things.

“They have been recording an extraordinary or unprecedented success. Recently, they seized about 1.8 tons of cocaine having a market value of about N194 billion.

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“So, with all these successes recorded, it is only logical that the criminals and their syndicate are now devising means inclusive of attacks on NDLEA personnel.

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”It is with that in mind that the memo was presented for the procurement of such vehicles for the NDLEA and the council approved,” he said.

According to him, between January and July 2022, the NDLEA arrested 18,940 suspects with 2,904 convictions.

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FEC approves N27bn for road project linking Ondo, Edo

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N27 billion for the rehabilitation of a 27km road linking Ondo and Edo states.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, revealed this to State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said: “The Minister of Works and Housing presented a memo for the approval of the award of contract for the rehabilitation of the Iduani-Otuwo road which links Ondo and Edo States.

“The contract is for the sum of N27, 233, 577, 000 billion and it has a completion period of 27 months.”

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Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, disclosed that the council gave approval for the second phase of the National Sugar Master Plan, which started in 2012.

He said the council approved the commencement of the 2nd phase from 2023-2033 for another period of ten years.

“In 2012, the 1st phase of the sugar master plan was approved, lasting for 10 years until 2022.

“Today the council approved the extension from 2023-2033 and the whole idea is for the development of the sugar industry, aimed at self-sufficiency in sugar production,” he stated.

According to Mr Adebayo, the plan has several policy measures and fiscal incentives to stimulate demand and attract private sector investment in the sugar industry.

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He added that four major investors participated in the 1st phase of the plan, creating 15, 000 jobs in the process with about 200 hectares of land acquired by them for the production of sugarcane to boost local production of sugar.

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On his part, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, also told the correspondents that the council approved the building of a retaining wall for a salt project in Ebonyi State.

According to the minister, the wall is to help protect the washing away of the salt, which occurs naturally.

He said the salt if fully tapped, could save the country millions of dollars from importation of the commodity.

The minister added that the commodity could also be exported to earn more revenue for the country.

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“We came to council for an approval because there is an intervention; direct intervention by the president for a salt project in Ebonyi State.

“We import our salt from abroad spending annually in the region of about 88 million dollars.

“Now by this project, it will mitigate that. It will not satisfy local demand but at least meet some of the local demand and save us the foreign exchange.

“The salt is in Ebonyi State but it cannot be mined without this infrastructure that we are about to build.

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“We are building a retaining wall because water comes in and washes the salt away every time.

“These are salt lakes that occur naturally. After the environmental impact assessment was done, the report suggested that we should build a retaining wall,” he said.

Mr Adegbite added that the proposed wall would be 27 kilometres long and about 2.9 meters high and would be funded directly from the presidency, adding that the project would be achieved in six months.

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