Court set to hear N1b concession suit over National Theatre Complex

A Federal High Court Lagos on Tuesday adjourned until March 3 to hear a suit by a company, Topwideapeas Limited, against the Minister of Interior, challenging nullification of its concession over the National Theatre Complex.
Topwideapeas, in the processes it submitted in 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.
In the new suit filed by the plaintiff”s counsel, Chijoke Okoli (SAN), marked FHC/L/CS/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.
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 its right over the concession of the fallow land in and about the National Theatre Complex lganmu. 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 investment 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 its 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.