Court Adjourns $3.5 Bn Concession Suit Over National Theatre Complex To March 3
National Theatre

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday adjourned till March 3 to hear a suit filed by a company, Topwideapeas Limited, against the Minister of Interior, challenging nullification of its concession over the National Theatre Complex.

Topwideapeas Limited, in the processes it submitted to the court, described itself as a special purpose entity for the acquisition of the management right over the National Arts Theatre and its undeveloped lands in lagos for which $3.5 billion has been earmarked for its development.

In the new suit filed by the plaintiff”s counsel, Chijoke Okoli (SAN), marked: /2392/19, the company prayed the court to declare as unlawful the termination of its concession over the theatre.

Joined as defendants are: National Theatre and National Troupe of Nigeria Board, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Minister of Interior and the Attorney General of the Federation.

Also joined are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank and Herbert Wigwe.

The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that it is unlawful for the fifth to seventh defendants to purport to truncate and nullify its rights as the concessionaire of the fallow land at the National Theatre, by inducing a breach of its contract.

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It wants the court to declare that the plaintiff has a valid and binding contract on the concession of the fallow land surrounding the National Theatre complex in terms of the updated draft concession agreement between it and the Federal Government.

It wants the court to declare the approval of the Federal Executive Council, as being a mere formality in the circumstances.

Plaintiff wants the court to declare that it is unlawful for the fifth to seventh defendants to truncate and nullify the plaintiff’s right over the concession of the fallow land in and about the National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos.

It wants a declaration that it is contrary to public policy and constituting a misappropriation of “scarce public funds” for the fifth defendant to divert public funds towards any project concerning the National Theatre, when the plaintiff and its partner have mobilised local and foreign private investments into developing same.

The plaintiff, therefore, wants an order of perpetual injunction stopping the defendants and their agents or privies from interfering or doing anything whatsoever, inconsistent with the plaintiff’s right as the concessionaire of the fallow land in and about The National Theatre Complex.

It consequently, wants an order, directing the defendants to ensure a prompt handover of the fallow land in and about the National Theatre Complex, to the plaintiff and its agents, for commencement of construction of the projects planned under the concession agreement.

The plaintiff is claiming the sum of N1 billion in damages against the defendants.