Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Lagos, yesterday said the court will on February 13 hear the suit filed by some domestic airlines against the federal government, challenging the implementation of the agreement reached with Ethiopia Airlines on the operation of Nigeria Air.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa fixed the date to enable all the parties in the matter to file and exchange all the processes in the suit.
He, however, renewed his earlier order of November 15, directing the government and domestic airlines to maintain the status quo in their suit concerning the establishment of a proposed national carrier.
Also during Wednesday’s proceedings, two “intervenors, Capt. Edward Boyo and Capt. Meggison urged 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”.
The five domestic airlines: Azman Air Services, Air Peace Limited, Max Air Limited, United Nigeria Airlines Company Limited, Topbrass Aviation Limited and the Registered Trustees of the Airline Operator of Nigeria are the plaintiffs in the suit.
While: Nigerian Air, Ethiopian Airlines, minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami are the defendants in the matter.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to stop the national carrier deal and withdraw the Air Transport Licence already issued to Nigeria Air by the Federal Government/Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
The airlines are also claiming that the firm which served as Transaction Adviser for the transaction, was incorporated in March last year, alleging that the company is linked to the aviation minister.
They are also urging the court to award an N2 billion against the defendants as damages for the injury they suffered and are still suffering as a result of their wrongful exclusion, wrongful action; unlawful bidding and selection processes and wrongful projection as not having properly, rightly and timely bid for the Nigeria Air project.