Supreme Court has
ordered a businessman,
Chief Kris Onyekwuluje
and his company, Artex
Investment Limited to
refund N85,575,111.60 to
the Benue State government
for the shoddy execution of
a supply contract awarded
to them over 10 years ago.
In a judgment at the
weekend, the court’s fiveman
bench, unanimously
dismissed an appeal filed
by Onyekwuluje and Artex
against a 2005 decision of
the Court of Appeal, Jos,
in which they were earlier
requested to make the
Onyekwuluje and his
company were awarded
contract for the supply
and installation of some
transmitters for the state’s
radio station.
Dissatisfied with the
qualities of the materials
supplied and the conduct of
staff and officers of Artex,
the state government set up
a Judicial Commission of
Inquiry under Section2 of
the Commission of Inquiry
Law, Laws of Northern
Nigeria 1963 to ascertain
whether there was “abuse,
misuse or misappropriation
of money meant for the
The commission was
also to ascertain, “whether
there was any improper
or fraudulent practice
or unjust enrichment
by any person and to
apportion blame and
recover the monies
believed to have been
misappropriated, unjustly
obtained, or fraudulently
At the end of its sitting
in 1999, the commission
issued white paper, which
indicted Atrtex Investment
and requested it to refund
N85, 575,111.60k, a
decision the company and
Onyekwuluje objected to
and filed a suit before the
Federal High Court, Enugu
in 2000.
In the suit marked:
F H C / E N / C P / 2 0 0 0 ,
Onyekwuluje and his
company challenged the
decision of the commission
because they were denied
fair hearing and that the
commission exceeded its
In its judgment in January
23, 2001, the trial court
dismissed the suit on the
ground that the plaintiffs
failed to establish that
the commission lacked
the jurisdiction to inquire
into a contract transaction
between the plaintiffs and
the Attorney General of
Benue State.
They appealed the
judgment at the Court of
Appeal, Jos, which upheld
the trial court’s decision,
prompting Onyekwuluje
and his company to appeal
to the apex Court.

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