The Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division has issued an order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from executing the proposed establishment of the national carrier – Nigeria Air.
The judgement given on Tuesday was necessitated by a suit instituted by eight local airlines and their association on Friday, asking the court to stop amongst other things, the national carrier deal and withdraw the air Transport Licence already issued to Nigeria Air by the Federal Government/Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
The document containing the FHC’s order of interim injunction, with reference: FHC/L/CS/219/2022, indicated that the registered trustees of the Airline Operators of Nigeria were the plaintiff in the suit.
It named the four defendants to include Nigeria Air Limited – first defendant; Ethiopian Airlines – second defendant; Senator Hadi Sirika (aviation minister) – third defendant; and the Attorney-General of the Federation (Abubakar Malami) – fourth defendant.
In it’s judgement on Tuesday, the court ordered that;
“an order of interim injunction is granted restraining the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies, principals or any other persons whosoever from executing the proposed or draft ‘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 and operations of the 1st defendant 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.
“That an order of accelerated hearing of this suit is granted.”
Responding to the judgement, the Federal Government, through its Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, declared that no law in Nigeria could stop the national carrier project, and the establishment of an airline for Nigeria by the Federal Government.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur