It is claiming N14.3 million damages from the musician.
The group, through its president Chizuo Anetoh, said it agreed with Runtown to perform at the popular state-wide harmattan carnival held last January 1 in Adazi-Nnukwu town.
The claimant, through its lawyer Raphael Anagbado, said it contacted the musician’s management company, Eric Many Entertainment, and after a meeting with the manager Armani Henshaw, a fee of N800,000 was agreed, which was fully paid.
The claimant said Henshaw demanded that four armed mobile policemen be provided to escort them to the venue, but the group was only able to provide two.
According to the claimant, when the artiste and his manager arrived Port Harcourt, they refused to be escorted by the two armed policemen, and eventually refused to attend the event on the basis that it was already late.
“The carnival took place without the attendance of Runtown who was billed to perform between 1-2am. Cash refunds were made to many people who demanded a refund because Runtown was the high point and attraction which justified the ticket prices.
“Due to the absence of Runtown, the association lost millions of naira in expected profit (including cash refunds made) and severe damage to its reputation which has a grave impact on the association’s ability to stage events, attract patrons and compete with rival carnival/show organisers in Anambra State and environs,” the claimant said.
The association is, therefore, praying the court to order Runtown to refund the N800,000, pay it N2million as special damages which covers cash refunds to guests, cost of fliers, radio jingles and hotel reservation; as well as N10million as general damages for loss of revenue; N1million as exemplary damages, and N500,000 as cost of the suit.
During hearing before Justice Josephine Oyefeso, Anagbado said his client called the musician several times to demand a refund without a response. He said he sent a letter proposing settlement, which was not accepted.
The lawyer said his client instead got a reply from Runtown’s lawyer refusing reimbursement and damages demanded, citing breach of contract by the claimant for alleged late provision of armed security personnel as escort to the venue.
Runtown, through his lawyer, Mr E. O. Ekeocha, filed a preliminary objection, asking the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
He said the claimant failed to comply with the court’s rules on pre-action notice.
Arguing the objection, the lawyer said: “The claimant’s demand letter is not a pre-action notice. The rules provide that a claimant must send a pre-action protocol containing the reliefs sought.
“All the claims are at variance with their pre-action letter, which does not activate the court’s jurisdiction. We plead with your Lordship to strike out the suit.”
Justice Oyefeso adjourned until January 25, 2017 for ruling on the preliminary objection.