Court halts concession of Murtala Mohammed Int’l Airport.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has ordered a stay of action on a planned concession of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and the cargo terminals within the airport by the Federal Government, pending the hearing and determination of a suit filed by Sifax Group of Companies Limited, challenging the bidding process.

The company had dragged the government, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, NAHCO Aviance Plc, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, TAV Airports Holding Company and GMR Airport Limited as 1st to 7th defendants to suspend the process.

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While delivering its ruling on the suit, the president of the court, Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa, ordered all parties to maintain the ‘status quo, following the application by Sifax lawyer, Kunle Ogunba, on Monday.

In its statement of claim, Sifax stated that it was one of the 13 firms that submitted a bid for the contract after the FG issued a formal ‘Request for Qualification’ stating that no applicant is expected to bid twice for any of the specific assets under any guise or form.

The plaintiff, however, said “contrary to the misleading impression that both the 6th and 7th defendants are separate entities, a search on the Internet revealed a contrary position.”

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It said it found out that a firm, Airport De Paris, owned 49 per cent and 46 per cent shares in the 6th and 7th defendants respectively.

The plaintiff, Sifax, said it is therefore, seeking for the following declarations among others:

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“A declaration and a concomitant order that the submission of separate bids by the 6th and 7th respondents with the impression that they are separate entities without any admixture of ownership structure amounts to a material misrepresentation and a breach of Section 2.2, and Sub-section 2.2.1 of RFQ.

“An order directing the 3rd respondent to immediately disqualify 6th defendant-led consortium and the 7th defendant’s submission, as well as ADP as a standalone party from participating in the tender or joining any group in the future after the announcement of pre-qualification results.

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“A declaration and concomitant order that the plaintiff is the most qualified applicant/bidder in the bidding process, both in terms of commercial and technical components of the entire bidding exercise and therefore should/ought to be declared the successful bidder for the concession of Murtala Muhammed International Airport.”


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