Court Halts FG’s Sale Of Nigeria Air Shares To Ethiopian Airlines

The Federal High Court in Lagos has stopped the federal government from selling the shares of Nigeria Air to Ethiopian Airlines.

The temporary injunction was given in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/2159/2022 and filed by registered trustees of the Airline Operators in Nigeria (AON), Azman Air Services Limited, Air Peace Limited, Max Air Limited, United Nigeria Airline Company Limited, and Topbrass Aviation Limited, the plaintiffs.

The suit has Nigeria Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, and AGF Abubakar Malami, as the first to fourth defendants.

In the enrollment order dated November 15, Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa said the government, represented by the Aviation minister, and the AGF should not proceed on an “establishment agreement” until the substantive matter of the suit is heard and determined.

While asking all the parties in the suit to maintain “status quo”, the judge ordered an accelerated hearing of the case.

Meanwhile, in the originating summons of the suit as reported by Politicos on Monday, the plaintiffs formulated five questions to the court to determine, one of which reads:

“Whether the entire process for the sale and transfer of shares of the 1st defendant to the 2nd defendant and its consortium by the 3rd and 4th defendants is in line with the provisions of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Est.) Act, 2005, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention, the National Policy on Public Private Partnership (N4P), sections 76-81 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, and does not affect the entire process including the selection, approval or grant to the 2nd defendant and its consortium by the 3rd and 4th defendants is not invalid and thereby entitling the entire process to fresh bidding exercise?” among others.

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