• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Airport deal: Court declares FAAN, SITA contract, invalid

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Airport concessionaire, Maevis Nigeria Limited, yesterday won its suit against Societe International Telecommunication Aeronautiques (SITA) at a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The judgment by Justice Ibrahim Buba, granted the prayers of

MAEVIS, in which the plaintiffs sought an interim injunction restraining the defendants (SITA) from negotiating, executing and or implementing any agreement with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in relation to the four airports.

The judge who set aside all of SITA’s agreement with FAAN, declared that the defendant was wrong to have entered into a contract with FAAN, hence their contract was invalid. He thus directed SITA to pay N5 billon to MAEVIS, as it had been willful and reckless in its conduct.

“SITA is very much aware of this wrong doing, as they had been warned about the existing contempt proceeding against FAAN in court. Nonetheless, they went ahead in recklessness to sign an invalid contract which is null and void,” Buba declared.

The Judge affirmed that the inducement by SITA was proven and upheld and that their criminal act with FAAN must not hold the issues, as SITA is guilty of all the matters they have been accused of by MAEVIS.

“The general damages and relief against SITA is as follows, SITA must vacate FAAN premises for MAEVIS, and SITA must pay MAEVIS N5 billion as general damages,” Buba further stated.

MAEVIS had in March 2012, approached the court with a number of reliefs against SITA and SITA Telecommunications Nig. Ltd (defendants).

It asked the court for a declaration that the defendants are liable to the Plaintiff for willfully procuring and inducing the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to breach its subsisting agreement with the plaintiff; that the defendants’ actions is impacting the plaintiff’s ability to collect revenue due to the Federal Government of Nigeria, pursuant to the facilities provided by the plaintiff under the said agreement; that any purported agreement for the provision of any Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) or similar equipment between the defendants and any other person, apart from the plaintiff and FAAN, in respect of any or all of the four airports is invalid, unlawful, ineffective, null and void.

They further sought from the court, an order of injunction restraining the defendants and FAAN or any other agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, from negotiating, executing or implementing any agreement pertaining to all the activities envisaged under the plaintiff’s subsisting agreement with FAAN, particularly CUTE, in relation to the four airports; an order setting aside any agreement whatsoever executed between the defendants and FAAN pertaining to all the activities envisaged under the plaintiff’s subsisting agreement with FAAN, particularly CUTE, in relation to the four airports, and an order directing the defendants to pay N5 billion as general damages.

All of the reliefs sought by Maevis were granted by the court.