National Tourism & Arts

Court Summons Malami, Emefiele, Others Over Handover of National Theater

National Theatre, Lagos

Justice Ayokunle Faji of a Lagos High Court has ordered the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and five others to appear before it on July 24, 2020 handover of National Theatre.

The judge ordered them to appear in court to show cause why they handed over of the theatre to developers while the property is a subject of pending litigation.

The Nigerian Government had on June 12, 2020, handed over the National Theater to Emefiele, and others under the Bankers’ Committee in a bid to transform the theatre and its environ in Nigeria’s creative hub.

The Bankers’ Committee plans to spend about N25 billion as initial funding on the development of Creative Centre at the National Theatre, Lagos and three other major cities in Nigeria.

A firm, Topwideapeas Limited had instituted a suit against the Federal Government over the handover, claiming that there is a pending suit delineated FHC/L/CS/2392/2019.

The respondents in the suit are National Theatre & The National Troupe of Nigeria Board, Infrastructure concession Regulatory Commission, Minister, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Attorney General of the Federation, Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank of Nigeria Plc, and Mr Herbert Wigwe as first to seventh respondents respectively.

The firm in an ex-parte application filed by its counsel, Chijioke Okoli (SAN), the company prayed for an order “suspending/staying the purported handover on or about July 12, 2020 by the 1st and 3rd defendant/respondents to the 5th-7thdefendant/respondents of the National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos and the adjoining lands thereto, pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion for interlocutory injunction (by notice filed on December 31, 2019).”

– Guardian