Former President of the Nigeria Football Federation and organizer of the yearly ‘Warri Again Concert’, Amaju Pinnick, has filed an N2.3 billion suit before the High Court of Delta State in Effurun against the singer, David Adedeji Adeleke, popularly known as Davido over an alleged breach of agreement/contract between them. Listed as defendants in the suit are Davido and his music label, Davido Music Worldwide Limited.
The claimant under the name, Brownhill Investments Company Limited, through its counsel, Kelechi Onwuegbuchulem in suit number EHC/183/2023, is asking the court to award N2billion as general damages against Davido.
In the suit filed, the company asked the court for N150 million as legal and professional fees and an additional sum of N30 million as the cost of filing the suit. The company is also seeking an order directing the defendants jointly and/or severally to tender a public apology on all the 1st defendant’s social media accounts/handles and in two national daily newspapers for four consecutive days, to the claimant and attendees.
In the statement of claim, the company averred that sometime in early 2023, the 1st defendant approached its chairman, Amaju Pinnick, when they met at the Abuja Airport, to engage his (1st defendant’s) services for the 19th edition of the “Warri Again” event held on October 6, 2023.
The claimant stated that its chairman was hesitant to engage the services of the 1st defendant for the event as the defendant had disappointed him on two previous occasions – the 2014 and 2019 editions of “Warri Again”, where he did not show up to perform after he had been paid for the events and he was compelled to make refunds thereafter.
The claimant believing that the 1st defendant had turned a new leaf, entered into a performance agreement with the defendants, for the 1st defendant, Davido, to perform as the headline artiste at the 19th edition of Warri Again, slated to be held on October 6, 2023 in Warri, Delta State. The claimant stated that in the Performance Agreement dated March 30, 2023, it was agreed that the 1st defendant, Davido’s performance fee was N70 million, which the defendants insisted must be paid in full at the time, to secure the 1st defendant’s performance at the event.
It averred that thereafter, the sum of US$94,500.00 (an equivalent of a million) was paid on April 6, 2023, and the same was duly acknowledged by the defendants.
The claimant in the suit filed said after payment was made and confirmed, the 1st defendant, Davido, did a promotional video for the 19th edition of the event slated, wherein he confirmed his attendance and live performance in Warri on October 6, 2023. Thereafter, the claimant set in motion, all promotional and advertorial machinery for the event, projecting the |1st defendant as the headline performer at the event. The claimant stated that it expended humongous resources on print and social media adverts and promotions for the event. The claimant further mentioned that on September 29, 2023, precisely a week before the slated date of the event, a formal letter of reminder was sent to the 1st defendant in respect of the event, which contained the flight itinerary of the private jet chartered to personally convey the 1st defendant and his team to and from Warri, Delta State for the event. It stated that it incurred additional expenses of $18,000 to secure the private jet chartered to convey Davido (1st defendant) and his team. It stated that on October 6, 2023, the claimant tried to reach the defendants severally but all attempts proved futile.
Regardless, the claimant kept the private jet chartered to convey the 1st defendant and his team to Warri, at the Airport in Lagos on standby, waiting for the 1st defendant and his team. The claimant added that it released a public notice that it had met all necessary performance agreements in respect of securing the performance of the 1st defendant at Warri Again and had not received any communication from the defendants, relating to his attendance at the event.
It stated that in the course of the event, its chairman, Pinnick, was compelled to address and apologize to the event attendees for the nonappearance and performance of the 1st defendant as the attendees expressed disappointment upon learning that the 1st defendant was not in attendance to perform. He explained to the disappointed attendees that the claimant met all its contractual obligations to secure the attendance and performance of the 1st defendant but he deliberately refused to show up and perform.
Pinnick further revealed on stage to the unhappy attendees that he had taken steps to secure the performance of another raving artist known as Crown Uzama aka Shallipopi, at an extra and unbudgeted cost to make up for the absence and nonperformance of the 1st defendant. The claimant added that the 1st defendant, Davido, not long after, resorted to bullying Pinnick, with his large social media influence and following by posting all manner of insults, defamatory remarks, threats, and unprintable things on the accounts/handles of his Instagram, Snapchat, and X (formerly known as Twitter], at its chairman.
The claimant added that 1st defendant, Davido, made a false post on his Instagram story, stating that he had informed the claimant months ago of his inability to attend and perform at the event. It averred that at no point in time did the defendants communicate or relate to the claimant that the 1st defendant would not attend and no longer perform at the “Warri Again” event. It added that other show promoters and persons have been victims of the 1st defendant’s penchant for reneging on contracts and engagements after collecting payments.
Consequently, Amaju and his company have asked for the payment of $94,500 as full payment for engaging the services of the 1st defendant, Davido. It is also demanding an order directing the defendants jointly to tender a public apology on their social media accounts/handles and in two national daily newspapers for four consecutive days.
It further asked the court for an order of injunction restraining the 1st defendant from performing as a musical artiste at any show/event in Nigeria until he refunds the sum of $94,500.