Shoprite wants to vacate restraining order on assets transfer

By Akin Kuponiyi

South African retail company, Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited, has filed an application seeking the discharge of the injunction restraining it from transferring its asset.

The order restraining the retail shopping outlet was made by Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos in favour of Chief Harry Akande’s A.I.C. Limited.

The Nigerian firm in 2018 secured a $10million judgment against Shoprite in a breach of contract lawsuit.

A.I.C. Limited obtained the order when it discovered Shoprite’s intention to pull out of Nigeria and transfer its assets to another company.

In the order that was issued on July 14, Justice Liman restrained Shoprite “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 and other assets, including but not limited to trade receivables, trade payables, payment for purchase of merchandise, from within the jurisdiction of this honourable court.”

The judge also mandated the 2nd respondent in the suit Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, to disclose its audited financial statements for the years ending 2018 and 2019 to enable the judgment creditor/applicant determine the judgment debtor’s/respondent’s funds in its custody in order to preserve same in satisfaction of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Appeal No: CA/L/288/2018.”

At today’s hearing, Shoprite’s lawyer, Mrs Funke Adekoya (SAN), approached the vacation judge at the Federal High Court in Lagos, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, with an application seeking to set aside the order of injunction.

Oweibo said he needed to be convinced that the matter was urgent enough to warrant being heard during the court vacation.

Consequently, he directed Shoprite’s lawyer to file an application to that effect and adjourned till 7 September for further hearing.

The $10m judgment was entered in favour of A.I.C. Limited against Shoprite by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja Lagos State in 2018.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, Shoprite appealed. But the judgement was affirmed by the appellate court in Lagos.

The South African firm has now filed an appeal at the Supreme Court.

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