Ethio telecom requested the federal high court on March 6, 2015, to use ordinary procedure, a procedure enabling it to come up with defence for the 8.7 million Br suit instituted against it by a disgruntled computer supplier Bridgetech Plc.
Established in 1997 Bridgetech plc is a company engaged in the supplying of computer equipments, broadcasting, telecommunication, industrial and power products in addition to exporting of agricultural products of oil seeds, pulses and spices.
Its counter party ethio telecom, formerly known Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), is on the other hand a state owned monopole telecommunication service provider mainly internet and telephone which generates over 300 million dollar annual revenue
The suit was instituted by Bridgetech plc in a summery procedure on which it had claimed that following its contractual relationship with ethio telecom for the sale of 500 laptop computers worth 8.7 million Br, ethio telecom refused to pay such amount. The reason ethio telecom provided for its failure to discharge its payment, Bridgetech said was that the computers lack the right specifications as per the contract and have a slower processors.
However meeting such specifications and quality latter on, Bridgetech asked Ethio Telecom for payment which did not bear fruit, the statement of claim showed. Thus, presenting documentary evidences of quality assurances, Bridgetech requested the court to pass a ruling on the case without arranging an ordinary suit on December 15, 2014 noting that Ethio Telecom could not have any other defense for its failure to pay its debts.
Confirming the formation of the contract on the provided amount of money, ethio telecom argued that the supplied computers by Bridgetech were inspected and found to be not fulfilling the specifications in the contract. ethio Telecom said it had notified the supplier to correct the specifications of the laptops, which it failed to do and that it had rejected to pay it the amount after considering the fact that the computers could not be used to the intended service.
It had also objected the plaintiff’s assertion that the quality of the computers are assured saying that it did not accept third party assurances, as it could make such assessments itself.
ethio telecom’s defense is for a full scale trial for the court to settle the case by hearing the arguments of the two parties rather than by considering that the defendant had no legal defense. This procedure is as opposed to the summary one which is an exceptional suit for cases with a liquidated amount of money.
The court will decide whether to allow or to disallow ethio telecom to defend itself on the next hearing.