Capital Hotel Explains, N503.6m Judgment Debt, Garnishee Order

The board of Capital Hotels Plc, on Monday notified shareholders through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) of a judgment debt to the tune of N503.6m in favour of a guest who claimed his property kept in his hotel room was damaged by flood.
Despite going on Appeal, the statement by Alex Ugwuanya, for Ifebunandu & Co, the company secretary, explained that the customer obtained a Friday, December 8, 2018, Garnishee Order on the hotel’s account at GTBank from another Abuja High Court, presided over by Justice O.A. Musa delivered ruling on December 3, 2018, dismissing the hotel’s application after the first turned it down.
A breakdown of the figure put the Garnishee at N453.6m for damages and N50m for cost of Garnishee proceedings and interest and another N100,000 as cost, all totaling N503.6m.
The statement also noted that the execution of the order was despite a motion for stay of execution filed by the hotel’s lawyers with all the processes duly served on all parties.
Narrating events leading to the current situation, Capital Hotels Plc recalled that a certain Alhaji Musa Abdullahi checked into Sheraton Abuja Hotel sometime in January 2002 and was paying his bills until 2012 when he began to default.
“Sensing his imminent eviction, he instituted a case against the hotel in the FCT High Court alleging that his properties kept in the room were damaged by flood,” the company explained, noting that the guest has rebuffed repeated request by the hotel’s insurers for documents showing the cost of the allegedly damaged properties.
In spite of this, judgment was given in favour of Alhaji Abdullahi who was awarded N453.6m for damages and was immediately appealed (Appeal Number: CA/A/739/2018) against and a motion for stay of execution filed and all processes duly served on all parties.
But rather than allowing the legal process to run its full course, Alhaji Abdullahi approached Justice Y. Halilu of the FCT High Court 28 holden at Jabi, where he obtained a Garnishee Order without disclosing to the Court that the judgement had been appealed against.
Following application by the hotel’s counsel, Justice Halilu, the statement added, set aside the Order and rebuked the claimant for not disclosing the fact that the judgement had been appealed against.
Notwithstanding the ruling, the guest again approached FCT High Court number 13 at Bwari, before Justice Musa, where he obtained a second Garnishee Order.
Capital Hotels, the statement stressed, “will pursue its appeal to its logical conclusion.”