A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has issued an Order of Interim Injunction restraining the Minister of Aviation, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Attorney General of the Federation and other defendants from executing the proposed National Carrier, Nigeria Air.
This is coming after the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said that no rational court can stop the airline as it is a Limited Liability Company .
His Lordship, Hon Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa after hearing the submission of Nureni Jimoh SAN with Abubakar Nuhu Ahmad Esq.counsel for the Plaintiff/Applicant move in terms of the Motion paper granted the injunction.
The injunction read,”The Court after careful consideration of the application and submission of counsel.it is hereby ordered as follows:1.That an Order of Interim Injunction is granted restraining the Defendants either by themselves, agents, privies, Principals or any other persons whosoever from draft the proposed executing “NATIONAL CARRIER ESTABLISHMENT AND AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA (represented by the 3rd and 4th Defendants) and the strategic equity partner (the 2nd Defendant) or giving effect to and or suspending the sale and transfer of the shares & operations of the 1stDefendant by the 2nd Defendant pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.
“That an Order of Maintenance of Status Quo by all parties in this suit from taking any further step(s) in relation to the subject matter of this suit pending the determination of the Motion on Notice is granted.
“3. That an Order of Accelerated Hearing of this suit is granted.
The Minister, Sirika earlier stated that no court can stop anyone for establishing a legitimate business especially as the country is seeking foreign direct investment ( FDI).
The Minister was reacting to questions from the media earlier today at an event where he reacted to some burning questions.
A national daily earlier in the week reported that the national carrier project may be stopped by the court as about eight local airlines and their association took the government to court on Friday, listing Nigerian Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as defendants.
According to the report, the indigenous airlines want the court to stop the national carrier deal and withdraw the Air Transport Licence already issued to Nigeria Air by the Federal Government/Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority claiming that the firm which served as Transaction Adviser for the transaction, was incorporated in March last year and alleged that the company was linked to the aviation minister.
The local airlines further alleged that ATL issued to Nigerian Air did not pass through the normal security clearance.
However, Sirika who reacted not knowing of the injunction said he has not been served and so he can talk about it stressing, ” I have not seen any rational court that would say I am stoping somebody from establishing a company because Nigeria Air is a Limited Liability company in the Corporate Affairs Commission( CAC)”
” If anyone wants to invest in that company, he continued,there is no law in Nigeria stopping them from doing so. You can own a hundred per cent” he said.
He gave examples with May & Baker, Julius Berger, Price Water Cooper, Unilever asking what the big deal was.He said,” This is what we want, we want FDI. So it it is US350bn for the airline and somebody brings USD 200 million dollars into Nigeria, why not?”.