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Court orders return of NTB millions

2022-01-21  Maria Amakali

Court orders return of NTB millions

The organisers of the Kora All-Africa Music Awards failed to furnish the court with evidence of their alleged expenses incurred over the cancellation of the awards in 2016.

Consequently, the court ordered the return of N$23.5 million to the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB).

High Court Judge Herman Oosthuizen in his judgement yesterday noted Ernest Adjovi and his company Mundial Telecom, based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, despite indicating that they failed to return N$23.5 million as they had incurred reasonable expenses amounting to the payments made by NTB, they failed to file a counterclaim to the effect. 

“The defendant’s attempt in cross examination of the plaintiff’s witness to introduce a quantification of its reasonable expenses failed due to the fact that it did not institute a counter claim; did not tender evidence and did not plea properly to the plaintiff’s claim…,” said Oosthuizen. 

Adjovi, through his lawyers, claimed during the hearing that he was not obligated to return the money, as he had to pay suppliers and sub-contractors as stipulated in their contract. 

The court however found that the contract between the parties was clear in that in the contract, Adjovi and his company would return the money to NTB within 60 days, with a deduction of less reasonable expenses incurred, in the event the awards do not take place in Namibia. 

Thus, the court granted the order for Adjovi and his company to return the funds to NTB. 

“In the premises, the court finds that the plaintiff’s claim for a refund of the consideration, is sound and the plaintiff has proved it on the balance of probability,” said Oosthuizen. The NTB sued Adjovi, his company and Namibian businessman Tonata Shiimi after they failed to pay back N$23. 5 million in public funds - money that was to be spent on hosting the Kora All-Africa Music Awards during 2016 in Namibia, which never materialised. However, on 13 May 2019, NTB withdrew its lawsuit against Shiimi, leaving Adjovi and his company in the dock. 

Despite the terms of the agreement stipulating that in the event the awards do not take place in Namibia, Adjovi and his company would return the money to NTB within 60 days – with a deduction of less reasonable expenses incurred as determined by the parties in the agreement, such has not happened.

– mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-01-21  Maria Amakali

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