The Abuja Investment Company Limited, AICL, the business arm of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, on Friday took over THISDAY Dome following a court of appeal judgement against Leaders and Company, Publishers of Thisday newspaper.
The Dome, owned by Leaders and Company, is famous for holding high caliber events.
The head of AICL, Ahmed Musa, praised the court as the last hope of the common man.
According to him, AICL was allocated the plot of land on which the dome sits in 2009 and entered into a lease agreement with the publishers of Thisday for two years at a cost of ₦97,094,284.02, out of which the company paid ₦57,558,854.73 as part payment.
“The Lease Agreement provided that the balance of the rent in the sum of N39,495,429.30, was to be paid on or before August 31, 2009.
“In spite of several requests for payment, however, the balance of the rent remains outstanding as Messrs. Leaders & Company has flagrantly refused to pay,” Musa said.
Several attempts to recover the balance payment proved abortive, leaving AICL to head to court where the court ruled in its favour in 2014.
“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,” he added.
Leaders and Company appealed the judgment but on Thursday, the court dismissed it’s applications, giving way to AICL to take over the property.
The court also awarded N197 million to AICL as cumulative outstanding rent, which the legal officer, Ada Amadi, said would be recovered from the value of the property on the land and if that is not enough, the balance will be sought through a garnishee order.