Park Management System: Court Dismisses Ownership Suit, Awards N500,000 to Oyo Govt

A court case filed against the Oyo State Government by Moxharley Nigeria Limited regarding the passing-off of the company’s idea on the Park Management System employed in Oyo state was, on Monday, dismissed on the basis of incoherency and a sum of N500,000 was awarded to the state government as litigation cost.

In a judgment on the matter defined I/421/2020, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta L. Abimbola, had held that the facts given by the claimants are not satisfactory and reliefs asked were flawed, adding that in all, the claim has no merit and all reliefs sought are entirely dismissed.

Moxharley Nigeria Limited and one Olufemi Oniyide had on May 14, 2020, filed a suit against the Oyo State Government and four others; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, the Chief of Staff, Chief Luqman Oyebisi Ilaka, Commissioner for Public Works, infrastructure and Transportation and the state Board of Internal Revenue over the true ownership of the initiative and idea that birthed the Park Management System in the state.

The company had alleged that the state government through the commissioner for public works via a WhatsApp chat had acknowledged the receipt of their proposal dated 2nd October 2019 and had launched the initiative without their knowledge thereby breached trust.

Moxharley then requested the court to declare that the act of setting up the Park Management System by the government is a breach of contract, wrongful and constitutes a common law tort of passing off against the submitted proposal and an act of retroactive ratification under the law of agency by government.

The company had also requested for an order of perpetual injunction preventing Oyo state government from further implementing the Park Management System and parading it as their own, an order mandating the government to render an account of revenue generated from the implementation of the system till the judgment is given in the case and remit 30 per cent of the revenue to the claimants as well as the sum of N100m as special damages, N56m as general damages as well as the cost of the litigation.

Oyo State Government in its defence had stated that Moxharley Nigeria Limited is not an incorporated company and they had no discussion nor contract or business relationship with it or anyone on procuring lasting solution to the NUTTW menace in Oyo State.

The state government had argued further that it does not transact businesses or issues by soliciting opinion and reactions from people on the street but by tabling it before the State Executive Council where ideas are initiated and generated, adding that government did not receive the alleged project proposal from the claimants.

The government had stated that the idea for the park management is from the governor and that it is not making millions on the project, adding that amounts mentioned as revenue by claimants are fictitious and the entire claims are frivolous and should be dismissed.

Having taken into consideration the facts supplied by the parties as well as the proof and documents tendered and having resolved issues of jurisdiction and practice procedure, Justice Abimbola held that the onus lies on the claimants to prove their case based on facts and evidence and not mere claims, adding that claimants must prove without a doubt that the idea is novel to him.

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