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Nigeria Air: AON Knows Fate in Suit against FG April 25

<strong><br>Nigeria Air: AON Knows Fate in Suit against FG April 25</strong>

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) would on April 25, know if the decision to transfer the suit it filed challenging the process of appointing Ethiopian Airline as core investors and operators of the proposed Nigeria Air, would proceed at the Federal High Court Abuja.

The AON, which is the umbrella body of airline operators in Nigeria, had approached the court and had asked it to interpret the law as it affects the process of procuring the services of Ethiopian Airlines for the operation of the proposed Nigeria Air. 

Hearing in the objection brought by AON to the order to transfer the matter to the Abuja division of the Federal High Court was concluded Wednesday, before Justice James Omotosho, who fixed April 25 to rule on the matter.

Justice Omotosho adjourned the matter after adopting all processes filed by the AON and the defendants including the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and Ethiopian Airlines.

In contesting the process of appointing Ethiopian Airiness for the management of the proposed Nigeria Air, AON argued that the Ministry of Aviation ignored the legally mandatory stages of the public procurement process as stipulated in the law establishing the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

According to the AON, the law mandates the advertisement of the appointment of an operator for the proposed airline in three national newspapers. It told the court that the federal government ignored the law by advertising only in two national newspapers and one foreign newspaper.

AON further argued that the law could be breached only in emergency situations where the National Assembly could not convene to amend it, adding that, there was no emergency in the process of appointing an operator for Nigeria Air to warrant a transgression of the law.

The AON said that despite the matter advancing towards conclusion at the Federal High Court in Lagos; it was suddenly transferred to Abuja.

It argued that there was no extraneous situation to warrant the transfer of the suit to the Abuja division of the court even after the matter had reached advanced stage with a restraining order on the federal government to maintain status quo pending final determination of the suit.

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