Enugu State Govt Dismisses Caveat on Hotel Presidential

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Says publication mischievous, contemptuous

The Enugu State Government has dismissed a caveat emptor published on Hotel Presidential in various national dailies by Mr. Gbolahan Elias, SAN, on behalf of Primeview Hotels Limited.

The state made its position known in a statement entitled “Setting the Record Straight: Re: Hotel Presidential”, issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, on Wednesday.

It said Primeview had tried to unscrupulously acquire the hotel in 2013 with the sole intent to illegally take over its assets and bury the heritage, hence the revocation of the transaction by the Enugu State Government.

The statement explained that the company lost its lawsuit against the government both at the High Court of Enugu State and the Court of Appeal, while also deliberately failing to appear in court on the last day of hearing at the Supreme Court, as it had no case.

It explained that the apex court did not deprecate the action of government in any way.

The government, therefore, urged the public to disregard the publication, describing it as a baseless, mischievous, contemptuous and erroneous misinformation.

The statement reads: “Enugu State Government, in the discharge of its governance responsibility, hereby presents facts to clear the misinformation that was published by G. Elias SAN on behalf of Primeview Hotels Limited (Primeview) in The Guardian newspaper of 6th May 2024 and others, purporting to place a caveat emptor on the lawful award of contract by the Enugu State Government to rebuild and restore order to the abandoned Hotel Presidential Enugu, which has constituted a serious state security threat.

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“The record is set straight as follows: Primeview and E Hospitality Services Limited entered into an illegal Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) and related transactions with Hotel Presidential Limited (owned by the Enugu State Government) in September 2013 to unlawfully concession Hotel Presidential, contrary to the Enugu State Privatization and Commercialization of Government Enterprises Law, No. 15 of 2010. Those behind Primeview were only interested in illegally acquiring the assets of Hotel Presidential and burying the heritage.

“To uphold the Law, Enugu State Government consequently terminated, revoked and set aside the illegal JVA and its related transaction documents.

“Primeview and E Hospitality (Defendants) sued Hotel Presidential and the Government in the High Court of Enugu State on 7th November 2017, seeking: (1) a declaration that the Government’s termination of the contract is wrongful; (2) an order for consequential damages for profits that the defendants would have earned within the period of the contract; and other orders relating to payment of damages.

“The Defendants never contested that Hotel Presidential and its premises or assets are owned by the Enugu State Government, neither did they seek specific performance of the illegal contract, because it was clear who owns the Hotel and that they have been caught up by their illegal act. Thus, lis pendens never applied.

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“The High Court, in its judgment delivered on 16th July 2018, refused to grant any reliefs sought by the Defendants, and held that the JVA (with all its related transaction documents) was illegal and unenforceable, having been made in contravention of an existing law. Consequently, the action was struck out; thus, upholding the action of the Government

“This decision of the High Court was upheld by the Court of Appeal in its judgment of 12 March 2020 in Primeview Hotel Limited & anor v Hotel Presidential Limited & Ors, CA/E/754/2018.

“The Supreme Court in SC/CV/359/2020 never at any point deprecated any act of the Government. Rather, Primeview and its counsel on the last day of hearing deliberately failed to appear in court, as they know that their appeal lacks merit.

“The general public is urged to disregard the aforementioned mischievous, contemptuous and erroneous misinformation of Primeview on Hotel Presidential Enugu.”

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