A High Court sitting at the Federal Capital Territory has restrained a South African company, Novare and its subsidiaries, from selling off their assets in Nigeria.
Novare is the owner of retail malls, including Shoprite malls, in the country.
Justice Peter Kekemeke gave the interim order following an ex-parte motion moved to the effect by counsel to the applicants, Darlington Ozurumba.
Grand Towers Realty Ltd, Grand Towers Plc and Nze Chidi Duru, who were applicants in the suit marked: FCT/HC/0224/2017 with motion on number: M/13811/2023, are the Nigerian partners to Novare Investment Ltd, owners of Shoprite.
They had sued Novare Investment Ltd, Novare Equity Partners (Proprietary Ltd), Novare Fund Management Ltd, Novare Africa Fund Plc and Mr Derick Roper as 1st to 5th defendants respectively.
In the motion dated October 3, the applicants prayed the court for an interim order restraining the defendants from selling, leasing, and transferring of interests of the property or assets known as Novare Mall Lekki, Lagos State; Novare Mall, Sangotedo, Lagos; and Novare Gateway Mall, Lugbe District, Abuja.
Others include Novare Mall, Apo, Abuja; Novare Central Mall, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, and all other Novare Malls under construction in Nigeria, pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice.
Justice Kekemeke consequently granted the order of interim injunction after Ozurumba moved the motion on November 6.
The certified true copy of the order was made available to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.
The judge adjourned the matter until February 13, 2024, for hearing of the motion on notice.
The development is the latest in the lingering legal battle between the parties since 2017 following Novare’s plans to divest from Nigeria, citing supply chain disruptions and difficulty in fund repatriation.