Our attention has been drawn to the newspaper publications of an ex-parte Court Order restraining Novare from selling its assets and exiting Nigeria. The ex-parte Order is premised on factually incorrect representations made by one Grand Towers Realty Limited (Grand Towers) to the Court.
Grand Towers (represented by Nze Chidi Duru) has been in a long-standing dispute in Suit No. FHC/HC/CV/0224/2017 – Grand Towers Realty Limited & 2 Ors v. Novare Investments (Pty) Limited) & 4 Ors. filed since 2017 with Novare.
In the Suit, Grand Towers and Nze Chidi Duru claimed that they ought to be declared our business partners having had early day introductory discussions with us about the Nigerian market. This claim was the subject of an earlier matter filed by Grand Towers and Nze Chidi Duru in 2013, in Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/121/2013, where the entitlement claims made by them were settled and a full and final payment of USD 6,000,000 (Six Million United States Dollars) was made to them as well as the sum of USD 300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand Dollars) paid towards the legal cost of their Counsel at the time, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN. The matter was fiinalllly determined by the Order and Judgment of the Federal High Court per Hon Justice A . R. Mohammed.
Grand Towers and Nze Chidi Duru resurfaced in 2017 to claim further sums and hence the subsequent Suit No. FHC/HC/CV/0224/2017 which recently went on Appeal to the Court of Appeal on the basis of Novare’s Preliminary Objection that the subject matter of the suit cannot be re-litigated having been finally determined by the Consent Judgment of the Federal High Court in 2013.
The Court of Appeal in its Judgment of January 31, 2023, remitted the case to the High Court for reassignment to another Judge for determination of Novare’s preliminary Objection on its merit, whilst setting aside the ruling of the High Court for not considering the plea of res-judicata raised by Novare in objecting to the jurisdiction of the Court to hear Suit No. FHC/HC/CV/0224/2017.
While Novare is NOT selling its assets or exiting the Nigerian market, Novare’s rights are fully protected by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Novare has instructed Counsel to respond to this latest sensationalized publication.
We use this medium to reiterate our belief in the Nigerian market and our additional investments resources. To show that confidence, Novare continues to deploy South African employee pension funds towards infrastructure and commercial real estate and mall developments in Nigeria, Zambia and Mozambique. Novare remains committed to its business in Nigeria and will continue to expand its footprint by bridging the real estate gaps in Nigeria while creating innovative real estate investment opportunities for both local and foreign investors.