A Federal High Court Lagos Division has asked the Federal Government and the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) to maintain status quo ante following the plaintiffs’(AON’s) motion ex parte in Suit FHC/L/CS/2159/2022 filed on the proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air.
The Court presided by Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa in its wisdom equally adjourned proceedings on the matter till February 13, 2023. Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa gave the order pending the determination of the suit filed by six major stakeholders.
The stakeholders include, The Registered Trustees of the Airline Operators, Azman Air Services Limited, Air Peace Limited, Max Air Limited, United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited and Topbrass Aviation Limited. Court issues interim injunction, stops Nigeria Air after Minister’s ‘no court can stop project’ jibe
The first to fourth defendants are Nigeria Air Limited, Ethiopian Airlines, Sen. Hadi Sirika (Minister of Aviation, Federal Ministry of Aviation) and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
However, two “intervenors/applicants” Capt. Edward Boyo and Capt. Nogie Meggison on November 23 filed an application praying the court to strike out the name of The Registered Trustees of the Airline Operators of Nigeria as a party in a suit arguing that its inclusion in the suit “is invalid”
They prayed for an order “striking out the name of the 1st Plaintiff (The Registered Trustees of Airline Operators of Nigeria) as a plaintiff in this suit, for want of due authorization and/or sanction from the Registered Trustees qua National Executive Council of the Association.”
According to their reasons for the prayer the maintained, “There was no meeting of either the members, the National Executive Council or the Board of Trustees of the 18 Plaintiff wherein any decision/resolution was taken to institute this present suit.
“The Decision/Resolution and/or authorization of the National Executive Council comprising the Registered Trustees is a condition precedent to the proper institution of any suit in the name of the 1st Plaintiff.
They said: “The Inclusion of the 1st Plaintiff as a party to this suit is invalid.”
Recall, the Federal High Court had issued an Order of Interim Injunction restraining the Minister of Aviation, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Attorney General of the Federation and other defendants from executing the proposed National Carrier, Nigeria Air.
The injunction read, “The Court after careful consideration of the application and submission of counsel. it is hereby ordered as follows: “That an Order of Interim Injunction is granted restraining the Defendants either by themselves, agents, privies, Principals or any other persons whosoever from draft the proposed executing “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 & operations of the 1stDefendant 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.