The Federal Government has failed in its bid to lift the subsisting injunction against the establishment of Nigeria Air as the Federal High Court in Lagos has reaffirmed its earlier order stopping the project and for a status quo to remain.
But the court on Friday brought forward the date for the continuation of the hearing of the matter to January 16, 2022, from the initial date of February 13, 2022.
The suit was filed by a group of airline operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) to stop the floating of a national carrier, Nigeria Air.
The airline was slated for launch this month but it was stalled by the suit.
After hearing the submission of the counsel to the plaintiffs, Nureini Jimoh (SAN) and Nuhu Ahmed, who are counsels to Air Peace, Azman, Max Air, United Nigerian Airlines and Top Brass, Seun Oriowo and Oyin Koleosho who are counsels for first defendant(Nigeria Air), the third defendant (Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and fourth defendant (Attorney General of the Federation) decided to make an order.
The presiding judge, Justice Lewis Allagoa, after careful consideration of the oral application and submission of counsel granted an order to adjourn the matter to January 16, 2023.
Recall that some airline operators had on November 16, 2022, approached the court to halt the project.
The court ordered an injunction, restraining the defendants, either by themselves, agents, privies, principals, or any other persons whosoever from executing the proposed or draft national carrier establishment and an agreement by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
After hearing the submission of their counsel, the court ordered an injunction, restraining the defendants, either by themselves, agents, privies, principals, or any other persons whosoever from executing the proposed, or draft national carrier establishment and an agreement by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The plaintiffs sought perpetual injunction restraining the defendants (Nigeria Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, Attorney General of the Federation) their agents, servants, officers, privies, and principals from perfecting, continuing, and transferring the operations of Nigeria Air by the 3rd and 4th Defendants to the 2nd Defendant.
They also declared that the entire administrative actions and decisions of the 3rd (Sirika) and 4th Defendants (Attorney General of the Federation) in the sale of the shares of the 1st Defendant to the 2nd Defendant and its consortium is invalid, void, and of no effect.
They equally declared that the 2nd Defendant (Ethiopian Airlines) was incompetent to bid for shares in the 1st Defendant and commence business accordingly.
The plaintiff prayed the court to set aside the entire bidding/selection process(es) for the “Nigeria Air” project as well as the approval, grant, or selection of the 2nd defendant by the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Defendants in the process.