An FCT High Court in Apo has fixed June 5 for ruling on a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear a case of debt recovery on the reconstruction project of Utako Ultra-Modern Market in the city.
The claimant in the originating suit, Hajnoor Investment had sued MN-Ataj Construction Firm and the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) asking the court to compel MN-Ataj to pay back the sum of N210 million it had incurred on the reconstruction project before AMAC re-awarded the contract to MN-Ataj.
The court was told that the first defendant (MN-Ataj) in a tripartite agreement with the claimant and AMAC (fourth defendant) had agreed to pay N300 million being the total sum that was incurred on the project before the first defendant came on board the project.
The complaint said the first defendant had in May 2016 paid N50 million and N40 million on December 7, 2016, but had since then reneged on the agreement to pay the balance.
However, at the resumed hearing, counsel to the first defendant told the court that since the tripartite agreement on the debt recovery included an arbitration clause, the court should strike out the case. Counsel to AMAC aligned himself to the submissions of the first defendant and argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to handle the matter.
Responding, counsel to the claimant told the court that the submissions by the counsels to the defendants for the case to be struck out were done in bad faith. He argued that the defendants had failed to fulfill their part of the agreement hence the need to institute the suit. He further urged the court to strike out the name of AMAC as a co-defendant in the suit.
The trial judge, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, thereafter reserved ruling on the matter to June 5, 2018