OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN on Finance Audley Shaw and his wife Maureen were compelled early yesterday morning to give control of their Christiana gas station to their business partner Joseph 'Joey' Issa.
Issa and his company CoolOasis Christiana Limited took over the operations yesterday after the expiration of an injunction that had barred him from taking possession of the business.
The move was pre-emptive of new atttempts by the Shaws to bar Issa from the gas station.
The couple had obtained a one-week injunction against Issa and CoolOasis, which expired at midnight on Monday.
An application for another injunction was set for hearing yesterday in chambers in the Court of Appeal, but when the matter came up before Justice Clarence Walker, attorney-at-law Frank Williams informed the judge that the defendants were already in possession of the gas station.
Mr. Williams, who was instructed by attorney-at-law Harold Brady, argued on a preliminary point that under the Court of Appeal Rules 2002, a single judge could not grant the injunction which the Shaws were seeking.
Mr. Williams said the Shaws were asking the judge to decide a matter which was already scheduled to be decided by three judges of the Court of Appeal, and pointed out that damages would be an adequate remedy if the Shaws succeeded on appeal.
Justice Lawrence, in upholding the preliminary point, said if he were to grant the injunction, he would be acting in vain because the defendants were already in possession of the gas station.
And, "The court does not act in vain," he said.
The Shaws had taken the defendants to court in January this year after the defendants informed them that they were taking over the management of the company by February 1.
The gas station was run by CoolOasis Christiana Ltd. and Mrs. Shaw was responsible for the operation of the gas station.
BREACH OF AGREEMENT
The defendants contend that periodic reviews of her performance showed that there were returned cheques from the bank and overdue payments for supplies of petroleum products and telephone calling cards. The defendants said the gas station debts had amounted to $7.2 million in December as a result, in breach of their agreement.
In response to the defendants' claim, the Shaws said that there was substantial performance of the agreement. They said they owned the property on which the gas station was housed and when the property was transferred to CoolOasis Christiana Ltd. on March 16 last year, the property was worth $25 million.
FORMATION OF PARTNERSHIP
The parties became business partners last year after Issa and his company CoolOasis offset the Shaws' debt of $13.7 million to United Petroleum (Ja) Limited.
Under that deal, it was agreed that the property housing the gas station, which is owned by the Shaws, would be transferred to CoolOasis Christiana Ltd., a company formed to run the gas station.
After the defendants informed the Shaws that they were taking over the gas station by February 1, the Shaws filed a suit in the Supreme Court contending that they own 50 per cent of the gas station.
Attorney-at-law Gillian Mullings and Audrey Reynolds, instructed by attorney-at-law Patrick Bailey, represented the Shaws.