A Singaporean Company, Prime Royal Shipping PTE Limited has slammed a $261,500,000-million suit on two limited liability companies – Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited and Aurum Ship Management FZE Company, over the failure of the Defendants to honour terms of settlement adopted and made as consent judgement of the Court.
Also, joined as Co-Defendant in the suit is an ocean going Motor Tanker M. T. Rising Sun, registered at Port of Avatiu, Cook Island and presently trading within the territorial waters of Nigeria.
Prime Royal Shipping PTE Limited which is having its registered office at No. 8 Jalan Pisang Singapore (199075) and currently at 04-19, UBI Tech Park, 10 Ubi Crescent, Singapore 408564 engage in the business of Ship Ownership, Management, Chartering and Allied Services, while Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited, which has its registered office at 50/52 Broad Street Lagos engaged in the business of Ship Charterer/ Hirers, Management and Ancillary Services and Aurum Ship Management FZE which is registered in accordance with provisions of the United Arab Emirate, UAE, has its office at Executive Suite L1, SAIF ZONE, Sharjah, engaged in the business of Ship, Chartering Management, Brokers and Shipping.
The 1st Defendant M.T. Rising Sun is the subject matter of this suit as an Ocean Going Motor Tanker.
In a statement of claim filed before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, by a Lagos Attorney, Barrister Nelson Otaji, the Plaintiff stated that it is the registered owner of the good and staunch vessel – the first Defendant known as “Rising Sun” (Ex-Prime Royal) and entered into a charter contract with the Aurum Ship Management PZE Company.
On its part, Prime Royal Shipping PTE Limited stated that Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited and Aurum Ship Management PZE jointly as sub-charterers and charterers had defaulted, refused and neglected to pay the outstanding hire rates that was due, owed and payable to the Plaintiff, Prime Royal Shipping PTE starting from 8th April, 2018 until the Plaintiff filed Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1649/2020.
However, the parties reached a compromise in the said suit and filed Terms of Settlement, which was adopted and made judgment of the Court on 29th June, 2021.
The material particulars of the said Consent Judgment that are relevant to this proceedings and relied on are:
Clauses 5-30. Particularly, Clauses 9, 10, 11(v), 13, 14, which combined provisions state that Euro-Waf Shipping Line Ltd shall be responsible for payments to the Plaintiff and the Mortgagee (Exim Bank of Indonesia) from the proceeds of the hire of M. T. Rising Sun, but had failed and defaulted to fulfill this obligation owed to the Plaintiff and other parties.
With regards to Clause 9, it provides thus:
“Hire; Charter rate per day shall be USD10,500 per day, the initial 12months and thereafter USD11,500 per day till end of the entire period between Aurum Ship Management FZE and Prime Royal Shipping Pte Ltd as well as Euro-WAF Shipping Line Ltd respectively”.
From the foregoing, it’s evident that the Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited as Hirer is liable to pay the hire rate on daily basis to the Plaintiff from the proceeds of hire and the sum payable, as computed in accordance with the Consent Judgment.
Pursuant to the outlined payment structure of the Consent Judgment, the said Euro-Waf had not been consistent in fulfilling its obligation to the Plaintiff and the Mortgagee (Exim Bank of Indonesia) and had not made payment as and when due.
The Plaintiff stated that it had in time past through its Solicitors, Barrister Nelson Otaji, demanded the payment of the judgment sum premised on the daily hire rate from the Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited but to no avail.
The Plaintiff stated that the Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited and Aurum Ship Management PZE contractual rights had been determined and more particularly, on the grounds of the Euro-Waf Shipping Line failure and default to fulfill the obligation to diligently pay the Plaintiff the daily hire rate computed less set-off on monthly basis, which breach is a fundamental infringement of the terms and conditions of the said Consent Judgment.
The Plaintiff stated that the Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited act and conduct of refusal to pay the instalment sums due to the Plaintiff and the Mortgagee (Exim Bank of Indonesia) forfeiture assiduously of the Plaintiff had caused untold hardship, loss of income and forfeiture of the plaintiff other collateral assets thus the plaintiff has suffered damages.
Consequently, the Plaintiff’s claim against the Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited and Aurum Ship Management PZE jointly and severally are as follows:
– A perpetual injunction to restrain the Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited and Aurum Ship Management PZE, their servants, agents and privies from claiming ownership chartering and or deploy the use of the vessel M.T. Rising Sun (Ex-Prime Royal) within the territorial waters of Nigeria.
– The continuous computation of the daily hire rates of $11,500U USD (Eleven Thousand Five Hundred US Dollars) from 22nd of November, 2022 that is due from Euro-Waf Shipping Line and owed to Prime Royal Shipping PTE Limited till the determination of this suit.
– Consequently, interest thereon at the rate of 20% per month pursuant to section 2(3)(u) Admiralty Jurisdiction Act LFN 2004, the judgment sum till liquidation.
– A declaration that Euro-Waf Shipping Line Limited breach of the terms consent judgement, on instalment payment to the Plaintiff and the Mortgagee (Exim Bank of Indonesia) had caused forfeiture of the Plaintiff’s other collateral assets and the Defendants are precluded to enter any further agreement with the Plaintiffs to hire/charter the vessel M.T. Rising Sun in Equity Law but liable to punitive damages in the sum of $200,000,000USD (Two Hundred Million US Dollars).
– General damages in the sum of $50million US Dollars.