Justice Chinwendu Nwogu of a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has fixed June 20, 2023 to rule on motion in N1billion contract suit against the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) by one of its indigenous contractors, Macobarb International Limited.
Macobarb had dragged NLNG to court in 2022 claiming N1billion as accumulated fund for a 2014 contract which allegedly failed.
NLNG went on appeal against the preliminary objection and returned to the High Court seeking to stop hearing pending outcome of the appeal.
When the matter was mentioned in the court yesterday, legal representative for NLNG, Lawson Ogari raised preliminary objections that the case was status barred and that the Chief Executive Officer of Macobarb should not be a party in the matter.
But counsel for Macobarb, Morrison Uzoma countered the motion by the NLNG lawyer that the case be struck out.
After hearing the arguments by the both parties, Justice Nwogu fixed the aforementioned date to rule if the case should continue or stopped following the motion filed by the defendant.
Justice Nwogu awarded N200,000 costs in favour of Macobarb against the defendant.
Speaking to journalists outside the courtroom, Counsel for Macobarb, Uzoma explained: “Today we came for the civil matter of Macobarb against the NLNG. It is a matter that is founded on breach of contract and midway before today, they raised objection that the suit is status-barred and the court should dismiss or strike it out.
“The court delivered ruling saying that no, the suit is not in any manner status-barred and the court ruled in favour of Macobarb, dismissed the objection, and then awarded N200,000 cost against them.
“They transmitted record of appeal without reference to practice direction. All they did, they never averted their minds to practice direction, thinking that it’s the general court of appeal rules that they want to rely upon.
“The court has adjourned the matter for ruling and directed that I should make available to him that practice direction of 2013 to enable him consider the basis of my objection and give a ruling on that. So that’s the position of the court.”
On his part, Ogari, who earlier declined comment, told journalists that the court had given the go ahead to hear the motions on application to proceed and that ruling has been reserved for June 20, 2023.