A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed April 25 for judgment in the suit by Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and others challenging the transfer of their suit against the federal government to another court.
Justice J.K. Omotosho on Wednesday fixed the date after listening to parties in the matter which is originally challenging the sale of Nigeria Air.
The AON brought the suit alongside Azman Air Services Ltd, Air Peace Ltd, Max Air Ltd, United Nigeria Airlines Company Ltd and TopBrass Aviation Aviation Ltd against the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court challenging the transfer of their suit from a Federal High Court in Lagos presided by Justice A.L. Allagoa to Abuja.
They joined as respondents in the suit, the Chief Judge, John Tsoho; Nigeria Air Ltd, Ethiopian Airlines, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Counsel to the AON, Nureni Jimoh (SAN) argued that by the provisions of sections 19(3) and 22(1) of the Federal High Court Act, and Order 2 Rules 1(2) (c) and 3, as well as Order 2 Rule 4 and Order and Order 1 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure), Rules 2019 the chief judge does not have the powers to transfer the case.
But defence lawyers, James Igwe and Alex Izinyon, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, argued that the chief judge acted under his statutory and administrative powers, therefore the court should dismiss the suit.
In the original suit in the Lagos division, contends that the action, conduct and or decisions in the sale of the shares and operations of the 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, 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.
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