Nigerian Court Stops Transport Minister, Amaechi, Others From Appointing International Cargo Tracking System Operators

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has prevented the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi; Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) from nominating any company or organisation to be operators of the International Cargo Tracking System in Nigeria (ICTN).

The order of the Court was sequel to an ex parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1587/2021 filed by Incorporated Trustees of Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights complaining about the official wrongdoing linked with the ongoing process of appointing an implementation agent for the ICTN.



The ICTN scheme is an electronic cargo verification system that monitors the shipment of seaborne cargo and enables a real-time generation of vital data on ship and cargo traffic in and out of Nigeria.

Justice D.U. Okorowo gave the order and a copy of the enrolled order was obtained by journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.

 

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 ICTN in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

 

Justice Okorowo granted the interim orders against the defendants pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the plaintiffs.

 

The motion ex parte dated December 9, 2021, but filed on December 13, was supported by an affidavit sworn to by the Executive Director of CASER, Frank Tietie, and accompanied by a written address.

 

After listening to A.U. Mustapha (SAN), who is representing 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 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 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 had clarified that CASER instituted the matter out of serious concern for Nigeria’s internal security following the massive inflow of small arms and light weapons through Nigerian seaports.

 

According to him, CASER was also worried that Nigeria loses huge billions of dollars following the improper tracking of cargo exports and imports.

 

He said the overall goal of the case by CASER, was to simply ensure compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act in line with international best practices and standards in the procurement of such security-sensitive services.



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