Nigeria Air suffers setback as court halts deal

for illustration only

The Minister of Aviation, the Attorney General of the Federation, Ethiopian airlines and others have been restrained by the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi from going ahead with the proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air.

Four domestic airlines, Air Peace, Max Air, United Nigeria Airlines and Top Brass Aviation, which are the plaintiffs, sought a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further proceedings on the project.

In a suit filed by their counsel, Nureini Jimoh (SAN), the plaintiffs declared that the action in the sale of the shares and operations of the 1st Defendant (Nigeria Air) is in violation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020, SEC Nigeria Consolidated Rules & Regulations, 2013 (as amended in 2022), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Act.

Others are: the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention, Civil Aviation Act, Public Procurement Act, Concession Regulatory Commission (Est.) Act, 2005, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, Procurement Processes for Public Private Partnership in the Federal Government under the National Policy on Public Private Partnership (N4P), and Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, 2015, and other regulatory statutes on aviation, companies, and investment laws in Nigeria.

The plaintiffs prayed the court to set aside the entire bidding and selection processes for the Nigeria Air project as well as the approval, grant, of the 2nd defendant by the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Defendants in the process.

They also prayed for the immediate and transparent bidding processes involving the plaintiffs, being the indigenous Airline Operators in Nigeria rightly entitled to participate in the process, an order directing the immediate revocation and cancellation of the Air Transport License (ATL) issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to the 1st Defendant.

“The Court after careful consideration of the application and submission of counsel, it is hereby ordered as follows:

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 is granted,” the court ruled.

Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Fany Olumoye, Muzha Kucha and Tony Okerafor

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