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Court Awards $10m Against Shoprite for Breach of Contracts

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  • Court Awards $10m Against Shoprite for Breach of Contracts

An Ikorodu High Court has awarded a $10 million as damages 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 some years back.

Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo also awarded a cost of N1million in favour of the claimant and ordered that the award of $10million damages must include “interest at the rate of 10 per cent per annum effective from the date of judgment, until final liquidation of the entire sum.”

In a judgment delivered by the court, Justice Lawal-Akapo held that contrary to the views of the defendants, (Shoprite Checkers and Retail Supermarkets), “there exist a contract between the claimant and the 1st Defendant (Shoprite) which contract is still subsisting till date”.

In a certified true copy of the judgment by Justice Lawal-Akapo obtained by our correspondent yesterday, the court also established that the defendants was in a breach when it “incorporated a company, established the outlet (Shoprite) in 2005 and was running the same without recourse to the claimant”.

The claimant in the suit, filed through its lawyer, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), in 2012, urged the court to among other prayers declare that, “by virtue of the agreement between the claimant and first defendant, the joint venture to be formed by the two parties is entitled to exclusively operate and manage by the first defendant’s Shoprite Brand in Nigeria and elsewhere in the coast of West Africa, except Ghana.

The claimant also sought “a declaration that the agreement for the formation of joint venture between the claimant and the first defendant for the exclusive operation and management of Shoprite brand in Nigeria and the coast of West Africa except Ghana is valid and subsisting.

“A declaration that the incorporation of the second defendant by the first defendant to operate its Shoprite brand in Nigeria is in breach of the agreement,” between both parties.

The claimant prayed the court among other things for payment of $2.2million and N13.6 million as special damages suffered by the claimant as well as an order for payment of $92.3 being loss of profit suffered by the claimant as a result of the breach.

In addition, the claimant urged the court to grant it a sum of $250 million “as aggravated damages for the continue breach of the agreement between the Claimant and 1st Defendant.”

Trial commenced on February 18, 2013, during which the claimant called two witnesses, PW1-Mukaila Raji and PW2-Chief Adeniyi Akande, the business development manager of the claimant company, and several documentary evidences were presented.

The defence team led by Funke Adekoya (SAN) opened its defence on May 5, 2014, and assembled five witnesses, namely-Andre Nico Vanzyl, Anton Andrew Wegenaar, Johannes Hendrik Schreuder, Roelof Louis Barry Slabbert and Malcoln Lawrence Aberman.

The claimant argued that evidence showed that “the essential ingredients for the formation of a contract namely :- offer, acceptance, consideration and intention to create legal relation” have been presented.

The defendants prayed the court to determine among other things whether the claimant has established the “existence of joint venture agreement or any other agreement between the claimant and the first defendant; and whether the claimant has established any claim against any of the defendants.”

The defendants submitted that – “there is no offer and acceptance which are fundamental requirements of a valid contract from evidence led by the claimant.”

In his judgement, Justice Lawal-Akapo held that the prayers of the claimant succeeded in part and awarded damages in its favour.

According to the court, it has been established that there can be acceptance by conduct not necessarily in writing as canvassed by counsel to the defendants.

“I therefore hold that there can be an acceptance by conduct and not necessarily in writing.”

On damages claimed by the claimant, the court held, “in essence to award exemplary damages alongside aggravated damages will tantamount to double compensation, which is against the spirit and intendment of the law.

“In this case, the claimant had incorporated a company A.I.C. -Shoprite Nigeria Limited in the hope of a Joint Venture for establishment and running of a Shoprite outlet. The Defendant went behind, incorporated a company, established the outlet in 2005 and was running the same without a recourse to the claimant. The claimant can adequately be compensated,” the court held.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others

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Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.

Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.

For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.

 

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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director

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Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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