Friday, June 24, 2016 11:58 pm
THISDAY Dome, a high class event centre owned by Leaders and Company, the Publishers of Thisday Newspapers joined the ranks of entities that have fallen under the hammer of the bailiffs in the past few days on Friday when it was taken over by the Abuja Investment Company Limited, AICL the investment arm of the Federal Capital Territory over N197m debt on Friday.
Dr. Ahmed Musa, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AICL said in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT minister, Muhammed Sule that the land on which the Dome was erected, Plot 702, Cadastral Zone AOO, CBD belonged to AICL.
He added that the investment company entered into a 2-year lease agreement with Leaders and Company for the erection of an event centre on the big expanse of land effective from May 1, 2009.
While the total rent payable for the lease was ₦97,094,284.02, Leaders & Company deposited the sum of ₦57,558,854.73 as part payment with an understanding balance of N39, 495,429.30, to be paid on or before August 31, 2009 as stated in the lease agreement.
But he added that in spite of repeated requests, Leaders & Company refused to pay the balance of the agreed lease amount.
Musa said because of the refusal to pay the outstanding balance of rent, AICL wrote Leaders & Company on April 13, 2011, indicating that the lease will not be renewed at its expiration on April 30, 2011.
AICL then requested Leaders & Company to deliver vacant possession of the property at the end of the agreed lease period, which till date remained outstanding.
“M/S Leaders’ recalcitrant behavior was predicated on the fact that it is a media house and had made threats to use the media in blackmailing AICL and FCTA into not collecting its rent and also forfeiting its rights to the property. Notwithstanding all the propaganda, AICL resorted to the only available remedy to it which was the law courts,” said Musa.
The AICL CEO added that the FCT Administration instituted a case in court in 2012 to recover the property and judgment was passed in 2014 asking Leaders & Company to vacate the property.
Leaders & Company however appealed the judgment.
The appeal as well as a stay of execution of the judgment by Leaders & Company, he explained was dismissed last week, hence the move by FCTA to take over the property.
Ada Amadi of AICL Legal Department told journalists that the Court of Appeal also ordered Leaders & Company to pay the sum of N197,477,702.8 being cumulative outstanding of rent due to the FCT Administration.
According to her, the structure erected on the land would be evaluated to see if the cost is up to the judgment sum, otherwise, AICL would seek to recover the balance through a garnishee proceeding in the court.