BFIGroup Corporation, the American-Nigerian consortium recently reinstated by the Supreme Court as the preferred bidder for the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, on Friday said it has instituted a N2.8 billion lawsuit against UC RUSAL for damages over the bid for the plant.
The suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja is for compensatory damages for “tortuous interference” in BFIG’s contractual relations with the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE; conspiracy to defraud; unfair competition and interference in prospective business advantage in the acquisition of ALSCON.
Defendants in the case includes all companies under the umbrella group, United Company, UC, RUSAL, consisting JSC Russian Aluminium (RUSAL); JSC Bratsk Aluminium Plant; RUSAL America; Dayson Holden Limited and 20 others.
Hearing in the case to be presided over by Justice Jude Okeke is scheduled for March 25.
The two companies have been embroiled in months of controversy over the ownership the smelting plant.
Russian firm, UC Rusal, which was initially disqualified by BPE, and later re-qualified to stand for the bid, was handed the plant in intriguing circumstance with a bid of $250million. The company has been running the plant since 2006, when it took over from the BPE.
Despite being declared the preferred bidder for the plant the Supreme Court, the BFIGroup has been denied the rights in an intriguing circumstance allegedly masterminded by the BPE.