Contract Breach Dispute Backtracks to Lower Court For Further Battle

The Cassation Bench returned the dispute on wheat procurement to the lower court for further review

Justices at the Cassation Bench over-ruled the decision of the lower court that favoured Fikru Gardaw, wheat supplier, who has been in a court battle with the Public Enterprise Trustee Board, Ministry of Public Enterprises (MoPE) and Oromia Seed Enterprise (OSE) over wheat supply.

The five justices of the Cassation Bench reversed the Oromia Supreme Court’s ruling on March 23, 2018, and returned the case to the Oromia Supreme Court for review.

The case was instigated four years ago when Fikru filed a civil suit to the Oromia Supreme Court claiming the then Bole Farm Enterprise, which has now dissolved, breached a contract between the duo for wheat procurement. The latter agreed to procure 13,833ql of wheat worth 10.45 million Br from the plaintiff after depositing 10pc of the total amount as a bid bond.

However, the buyer failed to collect part of the order, according to the initial charge. Bole Farm only took 590ql of the order paying 451,865 Br and abandoned the rest, claimed Fikru in his charge.

Fikru also requested for compensation of 1.26 million Br stating that he would earn the amount if he sold out the wheat. Oromia Seed Enterprise and Public Trustee Board had interfered in the case as Bole Farm has already been dissolved.

The co-defendants, in their statement of defence, argued that first defendant could not be liable for the damage as the transfer was not fully settled.

After reviewing the case, the Oromia Supreme Court excluded the Ministry of Public Enterprise and Oromia Seed Enterprise from the case and ruled in favour of the plaintiff ordering the Public Enterprise Trustee Board to pay 1.8 million Br to Fikru.

Displeased with the regional supreme court’s ruling, the Public Enterprise Trustee Board, the applicant, in this case, took the case to the Federal Supreme Court. In its application, the Board claimed that it should not be liable for any damage while the former company was in the process of dissolving.

Justices at the Federal Supreme Court sustained the lower court’s decision that favoured Fikru.

Public Enterprise Trustee Board took the case to the Cassation Bench stating the lower court made the fundamental error of law while reviewing and settling the case. After reviewing the applicant’s claim, the Cassation Bench returned the case, where it was instigated, after framing 10 issues which should have been reviewed by the lower court.

The justices have also ordered the lower court to take the issues they framed into considerations while they reinstate reviewing the case again.

The Public Enterprise Trustee Board is working on the case to file their claim to the Oromia Supreme Court for review, according to the management of the Board.


Published on Apr 01,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 936]



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