A Jos High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of Plateau State, Hon.Justice Yakubu Gyang Dakwak, today, the 24th day of September, 2021, struck out a Suit instituted by Bleneson Services Limited against the Plateau State Government; Ministry of Finance Plateau State; STL TRUSTEES Limited and United Capital Trustees Limited.
The striking out of the Suit by the Court followed the success of the Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by Paschal Mammo Esq. Counsel to the Joint TRUSTEES to the Bond used to execute the Project, STL Trustees Ltd and United Capital Trustees Ltd, sued as 3rd and 4 th Defendants respectively in the Suit.
The Joint Trustees had challenged the Jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the Case, on the Ground that the Claimants failed to file the mandatory Pre- action Protocol meant to disclose on Oath, the step, if any, they took to settle the dispute before approaching the Court.
In it’s Ruling on the Application, the Court held that the failure to take those mandatory steps as required by the Rules of Court is a fundamental vice which robbed the Court of the Jurisdiction.The Court consequently struck out the Case.
It would be recalled that on 16th March, 2021, Bleneson Services Ltd instituted Suit No:PlD/J144/2021 seeking to restrain the Plateau State Government from Terminating its Contract with the Company for the construction of various School and Hospital Projects under the LALONG LEGACY PROJECTS.
The institution of the Suit by Bleneson Services Ltd was after the Service by the Government of Plateau State of a 30-day “Notice of Termination of Contract” on the Company on 9th March,2021, following the failure of the Company to deliver a Phase of the Project whose delivery, going by the Work Plan signed by the Parties, was 31st December, 2020 and the prospect that going by the slow pace of work by the Contractor, it was practically impossible for it to deliver the last of the Projects by 31st December,2021as agreed, with the projected earliest completion date being December, 2024.
The Plateau State Government had therefore issued the Notice of Termination in exercise of its right to do so as provided under the Contract, where there is a failure of performance by either Party.
Bleneson Services Ltd had, upon receipt of the Notice of Termination, without approaching any of the Defendants for Settlement, as required by the High Court of Plateau
State (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2020, rushed to Court to file the Suit.
With this development, the completion of the Lalong Legacy Projects in various parts of the State is in sight as Governor Simon Bako Lalong has consistently maintained that the projects will be completed before the end of his administration.
Dr. Makut Simon Macham
Director of Press & Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State.
24th September 2021.