Shoprite barred from operating in Nigeria because of huge debt


The Federal High Court in Lagos has made aan order to stop shoprite from unloading and bringing its assets because of  $10m judgment debt.

 Any way, Shoprite has announced  that it may stop it operation in Nigeria.

Justice Mohammed Liman made the mareva injunction which was in favour of a Nigerian firm, A.I.C. limited, which in 2018, secured a $10m judgment against Shoprite in a breach of contract lawsuit.
The $10m judgment was put in favour of A.I.C. Limited against Shoprite by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, according to court papers.

Unhappy with the judgment, Shoprite went on appeal but it lost at the Court of Appeal and has gone to the Supreme Court.

In the July 14, 2020 mareva injunction, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, Justice Liman restrained “the judgment debtor/1st respondent,” and its privies “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 made compulsory the 2nd respondent, 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.”

A.I.C. Limited had in 2012 sued Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited; and Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited for alleged breach of contract.

 Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited and Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited had been sued by A.I.C. Limited had in 2012 for  alleged  contract breach.

The Nigerian firm said it was the one, who invited the South African retail supermarket operators to Nigeria and showed them business opportunities in the country, with a view that they would go into a combined venture.

Shoprite by the way went behind the back of the Nigerian firm to set up in 2005 despite talks had reached a ripe stage(hope of a joint venture for establishment )

Nevertheless  Shoprite argue that it had no contract of agreement with the Nigerian firm, but  both the high court and the Court of Appeal said the series of exchanged correspondences between the parties showed  that A.I.C Limited and Shoprite had agreed to a joint venture.

Upholding the high court judgment, the Court of Appeal held, “There is evidence in the record that the 1st appellant allowed the respondent to search for a suitable site for the partnership project and to apply for a lease of land for the partnership project. These involved time, energy and money. The court below held that the conduct of the parties demonstrated intention to enter into a legal relation in respect of the partnership project. I agree.”

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Ademuyiwa Richard seun is the founder and author of richentblog.com.ng Ademuyiwa Richard seun is a student in Lagos State University, studying Electronics and Computer Engineering. He is from Osun state and currently resides in Lagos. Richard started web designing in 2020.

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