#Court Halts Ameachi, AGF, BPP on Appointment of ICTN Operator

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Justice Donatus Okorowo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, has halted the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi; the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Makami; 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.

Justice Okorowo made the order while ruling in an exparte motion filed by Incorporated Trustees of Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), seeking to stop the respondents from taking any further steps in the matter pending the hearing and determination of the main suit.

The plaintiffs in suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1587/2021 are complaining about the official malfeasance associated with the ongoing process of appointing an implementation agent for the ITCN.

Specifically, the court restrained Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited (4th and 5th defendants) or their agents from parading themselves or functioning as operators of ICTN in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Although the motion exparte was granted on December 17, 2021, a certified true copy of the enrolled order was issued on December 20, 2021.

The motion exparte 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 2nd defendant (BPP): either by itself, servants, agents, privies or through any person or persons howsoever described or termed from appointing the 4th and 5th defendants as the operators of the International Cargo Tracking System (ICTN) in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the 2nd defendant; either by itself, servants, agents, privies or through any person or persons howsoever described or termed from giving further approvals and waivers to the 1st defendant ( Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Transport) in the planned appointment of the 4th and 5th defendants as the operators of the International Cargo Tracking System(ICTN) in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining all the defendants either by themselves or through their officials or agents or any other person or persons howsoever from taking further steps towards nominating any company or entity to be 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.

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 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.

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