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Port terminals: Court orders NPA, others to maintain status quo

Port terminals: Court orders NPA, others to maintain status quoPort terminals: Court orders NPA, others to maintain status quoJustice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja has issued an interim order directing the Nigerian Ports Authority and four others to maintain the status quo in a suit filed by Intels Nigeria Limited on the de-categorisation of terminals at the nation’s seaports.

Intels, which filed the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/417/2017 at the Federal High Court Abuja, is asking the court to, among other reliefs, issue an order stopping the NPA and other defendants from implementing a proposed policy review.

The defendants in the suit are the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation, NPA, Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Federal Ministry of Transport.

Intels also asked the court to make a declaration that the five lease agreements it entered into and executed with the 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants in respect of the Warri New Terminal, Warri Old Terminal, Federal Lighter Terminal B, Calabar Terminal A and Federal Ocean Terminal A, all dated October 24, 2005 for 25 years’ renewable leasehold were still subsisting.

The plaintiff, among other reliefs, also sought a declaration that the defendants were duty-bound to honour, perform and fulfil their contractual obligations as stated in the five lease agreements.

The plaintiff also requested the court to issue an order of perpetual injunction restraining all the defendants, their agents, representatives or privies from “doing, directing, carrying out, executing or implementing any policy, directives, or act, which are capable of diverting traffic, customers, sales, patronage or otherwise that would affect the spirit and intendment of the five lease agreements, revenue generation, profits, returns on investment and any other projection or projections of the plaintiff made pursuant to the five lease agreements all dated the 24th day of October, 2005.”

Justice Mohammed directed all parties in the suit to maintain the status quo ante regarding the subject matter pending the decision of the court on whether it had jurisdiction to entertain the suit or not.

He adjourned the matter till June 13, 2017 for hearing of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants’ preliminary objections.

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