From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Federal High Court has stopped the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) from nominating any company or entity to be operators of the International Cargo Tracking System (ICTN) in Nigeria.
The order of the court is sequel to an ex parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1587/2021, filed by Incorporated Trustees of Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), complaining about the official malfeasance associated with the ongoing process of appointing an implementation agent for the ITCN.
The order specifically restrained Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited (4th and 5th defendants) or their agents from parading themselves or functioning as operators of International Cargo Tracking System (ICTN) in Nigeria, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
Justice D.U.Okorowo granted the interim orders against the defendants, pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice filed by the plaintiffs.
Although the motion ex parte was granted on December 17, 2021, a certified true copy of the enrolled order was issued on December 20, 2021.
The motion ex parte dated December 9, 2021, but filed on December 13, was supported by an affidavit sworn to by Frank Tietie, the Executive Director of CASER, and accompanied by written address.
After listening to A.U Mustapha (SAN) for the plaintiff/applicant, Justice Okorowo made the following orders: “An order of interim injunction is, hereby, made restraining the second defendant (BPP): either by itself, servants, agents, privies or through any person or persons, howsoever, described or termed from appointing the fourth and fifth defendants as the operators of the International Cargo Tracking System (ICTN) in Nigeria, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to January 12, 2022, for arguments on the motion on notice.
Mr Tietie has explained that CASER instituted the case out of serious concern for Nigeria’s internal security, following the massive inflow of small arms and light weapons (SALW) through Nigerian sea ports.
He said CASER is also concerned that Nigeria loses huge billions of dollars following the improper tracking of cargo exports and imports.
The overall goal of the case by CASER is to simply ensure compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) with international best practices and standards in procurement of such security-sensitive services.