By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja.
AS numerous reactions trail moves by Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to flag-off Nigeria Air on Friday, members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, have also condemned the project, saying it will be a complete breach of court order.
Their stand which was made known in a letter delivered to President Mohammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, said, “the move is an attempt to circumvent the court orders on Friday being the last working day of this administration and possibly to cover up the various infractions of Nigerian laws, among others.”
The letter, signed by Abubakar Nuhu Ahmad of the Nureini Jimoh (SAN), and titled: ‘Nigeria Air Project’ Last Minute Planned Disobedience to Court Order And Deliberate Plan to Rubbish the Achievement of this Administration’, urged the president to, as a matter of urgency, stop the Minister’s action.
The AON noted that bringing in two aircraft for Nigeria Air ‘is a clever way to violate court orders.’
President Buhari was, therefore, reminded that the suit was ‘filed to question the shady deals, deliberate infractions of the Nigerian laws and self-enrichment/ corruption mainly by the ministry of aviation over the Nigeria Air project.’
The letter signed by Abubakar Nuhu Ahmad Esq. of Nureini Jimoh (SAN) Chambers, vowed to ‘pursue contempt action against the minister personally whether or not he has left office.
The letter which was copied to the Attorney General of the Federation, The Inspector-General of Police, The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Aviation, read: “We are solicitors to Airline Operators of Nigeria (“Our Client”). Our client filed the above suit to question the shady deal, deliberate infraction of the Nigerian laws, and self-enrichment, mainly against the Federal Ministry of Aviation over the Nigerian Air Project.
“In the suit, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos presided by Hon. Justice A.L Allagoa, in the above suit, granted Orders of interim and interlocutory injunctions, in the terms contained in the Order, restraining taking of any step in relation to the Nigeria Air project. Copy each of the Orders are enclosed as Annexures 1, 2 & 3.
“As your Excellency is well aware, the administration will hand over on Monday, May 29, 2023, but the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, is planning to circumvent the Court Orders on Friday 26th May 2023 being the last working day of this administration and possibly to cover up the various infractions of Nigerian laws, amongst others.
“This was disclosed in the interview granted yesterday by the Hon. Minister to Channels Television and the same has gone viral on social media. The Minister is planning to hurriedly bring in two (2) aircraft and pretend that NigeriaAir has commenced operation.”
“Aside moral justification for commercial operation after the Minister’s last day in office, it is a clever way to violate the court orders. This action has no regard to whether or not it will stain the record of this administration, whether or not it will cover for corrupt actions raised in the suit and deliberately meant to violate Court Orders for self-serving purposes.
“We, therefore, employ your Excellency to STOP this action of the Minister of Aviation, ensure compliance with the terms of the Order and avoid needless controversies on the action after your Excellency’s administration would have expired.
“Notwithstanding, our client will still pursue contempt action against the Minister personally whether or not he left office, for the promotion of the rule of law, protection of the integrity of the court and in line with international best practices.”
Vanguard had earlier reported that amidst increasing doubt over the feasibility of the National carrier, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Hadi Sirika promised that Nigeria Aircraft will arrive Nigeria on Friday, less than five days to the winding down of the Buhari-led administration.
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