Afrobeat sensation Davido was sued for breach of contract in relation to the annual Warri Again Concert by former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick and Brownhill Investment Company Limited. On Wednesday, a High Court in Effurun, Delta State, dismissed Davido’s initial objections.
Amaju Pinnick and his company filed the lawsuit against Davido and his record label, Davido Music Worldwide, in November 2023.
In October of the same year, Pinnick publicly criticized Davido for not fulfilling his performance commitment at the 19th edition of the concert, despite receiving a payment of $94,600.
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He said; “We paid Davido $94,600 on the 6th of April. We paid $18,000 for his plane. If he says he’s a big boy, we will tell him we are bigger than him.”
The court also rejected an objection raised by Davido Music Worldwide and Davido’s aide, Israel Afeare, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the defamation case filed against them.
The plaintiff, represented by its legal counsel Kelechi Onwuegbuchulem, is seeking a court order to grant N2bn as general damages against Davido and his music label.
Furthermore, the plaintiff is urging the court to award N150m for legal and professional fees against Davido and an additional N30m as the cost of filing the lawsuit.
It also wants the court to order the singer “to tender a public apology on all the 1st defendant’s social media accounts/handles and in two national daily newspapers for four consecutive days, to the claimant and attendees.”
The defendants contended that the lawsuit was premature, characterizing it as a debt recovery case, given that the claimant had not issued a letter of demand seeking repayment of the money stated in the complaint.
Nevertheless, the court, in its ruling on Wednesday, rejected the defendants’ assertions. The court recognized the argument put forth by the claimant’s lawyer, asserting that the requested reliefs should be viewed collectively rather than in isolation to grasp the lawsuit’s essence.
Additionally, the court affirmed that the sought reliefs pointed towards a breach of contract, obviating the necessity for a formal letter of demand.
In a connected defamation case, the court affirmed its jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.
The court established that the claimant, residing in Delta, was present in the state when the defendants disseminated the alleged defamatory content online. Additionally, the claimant accessed and observed the defamatory statements while within the state.
The hearings for other outstanding applications in these cases have been adjourned.