Court Adjourns N5tn Copyright Infringement Suit against Works Ministry to May 2

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of a Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned a N5 trillion- suit against the Federal Ministry of Works and nine others, over the alleged stealing of the idea of a firm, in respect of a highway concession project in the country, to May 2.

Justice Olajuwon adjourned the matter shortly after the first witness, Kenneth Ibe-Kalu, ended his evidence in the matter.
The plaintiffs, Hugiano Embold Solutions Ltd and Kenneth Ibe-Kalu had dragged the defendants to court for executing its concept named the National Transformation Tourists Centers (NTTC); after renaming it the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).

Specifically, they accused the ministry of plagiarising and infringing on their copyright, by renaming the original design of its NTTC as HDMI.
At Thursday’s proceedings, the first witness, Ibe-Kalu tendered some documents on the NTTC, which included a Letter of Endorsement, and a notice to produce documents, among others.

The witness in his statement of claim averred that he designed the NTTC as a national development vision for the construction of tourist centres along corridors of all federal roads in Nigeria to be sited after every 100 kilometres along the 34,123 kilometres length of federal roads in Nigeria with a total of 340 centres.

He said before the project was hijacked, he raised the initial $15 billion required to equip the centres with many departments such as hotels, pharmacy departments, commercial towing van centres, car washes, highway clinics, farmers markets, tourist centres, fast food centres, supermarkets, movie, and music marketing centres, children’s parks, vehicle parks, mini banks, security, and rapid response agencies, National Orientation Agency (NOA) help desk and other support services.

At the end of the evidence, counsel to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Ezekiel Dairo, informed the court that he was not prepared to conduct the cross-examination of the witness.
The judge subsequently fixed May 2, for the cross-examination of the witness by the respondents.
Besides the Minister of Works and Housing, other defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1047/2022, are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC); the Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).

Others are: National Planning Commission, KPMG Advisory Services, Incorporated Trustees of Pan-Atlantic University Foundation (Lagos Business School), United Kingdom Secretary of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (United Kingdom Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility Programme).

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