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Court orders hotel to pay oil dealer N7 million debt, garnishees account


[FILE PHOTO] court

A Lagos Magistrate court sitting in Igbosere, has ordered Princely Court, owners of Protea Hotel and Kuramo Waters to pay the sum of N7million to an oil dealer, Paul Ojoje of Rejoice Hope Company.

The Chief Magistrate, Folashade Botoku, ordered the Protea Hotel, Kuramo Waters to pay the sum as a debt owed the businessman for 60,000 litres of diesel supplied to the company in 2011 by the oil dealer.

The hotel had allegedly refused to pay the amount to the businessman after the supply was made to the company.

The oil dealer had through his counsel, Maxwell Onogu, instituted the suit against Princely Court over the alleged refusal of the management to pay the said sum since the transaction took place in 2011.

The matter suffered several adjournments for seven years during which it was transferred from one magistrate court to another.

The oil dealer had also petitioned the immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, over the delay in the trial.

However, during the trial, the Ojoje told the court that the management of the hotel refused to pay him after he supplied 60,000 litres of diesel to it, on the allegation that the diesel was adulterated.

He argued that representatives of the hotel confirmed that the product was not adulterated before and when the supply was made, but was surprised the hotel management refused to pay him.

The claimant further told the court that several attempts to make the hotel pay did not yield positive results as he was allegedly harassed by security operatives on the order of the hotel management whenever he visited the hotel to claim his money.

The defendant however failed to produce witnesses in court during trial.

While delivering judgment, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs Botoku, berated the management of the hotel for refusing to pay the sum to the defendant as well as appearing in court to defend itself.

“A worker deserves his wages. There is no contention that the claimant supplied 60,000 litres of diesel to the defendant and has not been paid for the supply.
The onus is on the defendant to prove otherwise. The defendant has also failed to produce any evidence that the said sum has been paid to the claimant.

“I therefore award a sum of N7.8million, being the sum of 60,000litres of diesel supplied to the defendant, to the claimant and six per cent interest from the day the supply was made until liquidation,” the magistrate ordered.

She also ruled on an application filed by the claimant to garnishee the defendant’s account.

The court ordered all banks where the company’s accounts are domiciled to immediately file before the court, statements of accounts showing the debtor/respondent current financial status and to appear before the court to explain why they should not pay the creditor the said sum from July 11, 2011 till final liquidation.

She subsequently adjourned till November 16.

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