A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has barred Novare and its subsidiaries, a South African company, from selling their assets (Lekki and Abuja malls) in Nigeria.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Novare, the proprietors of retail malls, including Shoprite malls in the country, faced this restriction.
Justice Peter Kekemeke issued the temporary order in response to an ex-parte motion presented by the applicants’ counsel, Darlington Ozurumba.
The applicants, namely Grand Towers Reality Ltd, Grand Towers Plc, and Nze Chidi Duru, are the Nigerian partners of Novare Investment (PTY) Ltd, the entity that owns Shoprite. They filed the suit with the FCT/HC/0224/2017 marking and motion number M/13811/2023.
In their motion dated 3rd October, the applicants sought an interim order from the court to prevent the defendants from selling, leasing, or transferring interests in the properties or assets identified as Novare Mall Lekki, Lagos State; Novare Mall, Sangotedo, Lagos; and Novare Gateway Mall, Lugbe District, Abuja.
This also extended to other locations such as Novare Mall, Apo, Abuja; Novare Central Mall, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, along with all other Novare Malls currently under construction in Nigeria, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
Following Ozurumba’s motion on November 6, Justice Kekemeke promptly granted the interim injunction order. The certified true copy of this order was disclosed to the press in Abuja on Wednesday.
The judge has set the next hearing for the motion on notice on February 13, 2024.
This development marks the most recent episode in the ongoing legal dispute between the parties that originated in 2017. The conflict arose when Novare announced its intentions to withdraw from Nigeria, citing supply chain disruptions and challenges in repatriating funds.
Naijaonpoint earlier reported Novare listing its malls in Lekki and Abuja (Lekki Mall, Apo Mall Abuja, Novare Central Mall, and Gateway Mall Abuja.) for sale in September.