The court has adjourned to 15th December, 2014 the case challenging Shippers’ Council’s eligibility to tinker with terminal charges in the Nigerian ports as a result of the notice given by NSC that terminal operators should revert to 2009 terminal charges.
The presiding judge, Justice Buba Ibrahim who postponed the case said it was necessary to give the counsel to the co-defendant the opportunity to peruse the document and make his submission within 48.
The judge had earlier announced that the hearing was to take place on Friday but the Counsel to STOAN, Femi Atoyebi, SAN pleaded that the date would encroach on some of his plans therefore, all parties concerned settled for Monday, 15th December, 2014 as the new date.
While speaking, the judge enjoined the counsel to the second defendant, Barrister Osuala Nwagbara to file the process within 24 Hours having abridged the time.
The counsel to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr. Emeka Akabogu while speaking with the press, said that the adjournment was to be able to accommodate the party seeking to be joined in the case filed against the NSC
Asked if he was comfortable with the development, he said,”We are comfortable with the development and there is nothing wrong for another party to join us in the case because we want to ensure that justice is done for everybody”
However, Counsel to the second defendant in the case, Barrister Osuala Nwagbara told journalists that the Shippers Association of Lagos State filed an application to join the case even as he expressed happiness to be accepted by the judge to be a co-defendant in the case.
Barr. Nwagbara said, “We are given 48 hours to file all our processes and all the effecting issues that arise from all local ports charges coming from the terminal operators and we will do our best to meet up the order of the court”.
On his part counsel to STOAN, Femi Atoyebi, SAN said that adjournment of the case till Monday the 15th 2014 was a good decision.
He said it was good for the second party to be joined to the first to avoid duplication of litigation.
Atoyebi said, “If another party wants to come in let them come in so as to avoid multiplicity of suit and if the court doesn’t allow them to come in , then they will sue separately, so it is better for us once and for all and close it , which was the major reason behind the adjournment”
Meanwhile the case between the Shipping Agencies and Shippers’ Council over shipping agency fee will also come up on Wednesday, this week at the same court, two days after the court would have decided the case between STOAN and NCS.