By Lukman Olabiyi
The contempt proceedings instituted by Rite Food Limited against the Nigerian Bottling Company and its Managing Director, MD, Mattieu Seguin, for alleged disobedience to court order has been set aside.
The proceeding was set aside by Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Lagos State, on Wednesday when he held that there was no subsisting order that was disobeyed by the respondents.
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa held that his learned brother, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke had on September 27, 2021, discharged and set aside the committal proceedings.
The Judge consequently awarded punitive costs to the tune of N500,000 each in favour of NBC and the alleged second contemnor, against the plaintiff, Rite Food Limited.
In handing down its ruling, Justice Lewis-Allagoa set aside the order of committal proceeding in its entirety including all processes used by the plaintiff in the proceedings.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa held that the court cannot vacate an existing order. According to the judge, “The Motion filed by the plaintiff is qualified as a nullity. A foundation of any committal proceedings is for a valid judgment, where there is no valid judgment, it can not be used. Committal proceedings can only exist having been that the order is still enforceable, the motion dated October 15 and 18, filed by the respondents has merit. I hereby set aside in its entirety, the committal proceedings, including all the processes.”