Rotimi Amaechi, Hadiza Bala-Usman Absence Stall NPA Court Trial

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A suit filed against President Muhammadu Buhari, the suspended Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, the NPA Board and the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi came up yesterday for hearing at the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi Lagos.

However, the defendants were not in court even though Counsel to the plaintiff, Mike Ozekome, SAN, who was represented by Barrister Ojie Onuoha, maintained that the defendants were served the notice last week and were expected to be in court.

Since neither the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi Hadiza Bala Usman or their lawyers made any appearance, it inadvertently stalled the proceedings of the court and the presiding judge, Justice Tijani Ringim, adjourned the case to Nov. 4, 2021.

The suit against NPA was filed by a maritime stakeholder, Elder Asu Beks, against the Board of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and its Executive Directors.

Elder Beks and two other plaintiffs; Mr Tompra Abarowei and Mr Miebi Senge on Thursday, March 25, 2021 filed the suit challenging the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari to unlawfully constitute the board of the NPA, as well as appointment of its Executive Directors without recourse to the statutory provisions of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Act.

Elder Beks, Chief Executive Officer of Maritime Media Limited, Publishers of Shipping World Magazine also joined the embattled Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman in the suit, saying that Buhari prematurely reappointed, six clear months before her tenure expires.

Justice Tujjani Garba Ringim of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi had fixed Monday, July 5th as date to enable all parties in the suit prepare their processes for argument.

The plaintiffs held that the newly constituted Board of NPA has no Representative of the Ministry of Transportation as enshrined in the statues of the NPA Act and that it reflected complete disregard for professionalism and requisite expertise in shipping and ancillary maritime matters for its members.

In the suit number FHC/L/CS/485/2021, apart from President Buhari, other defendants in the court action are the Minister of Transportation, the Managing Director of the NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman and the Chairman, Board of NPA, Mr Emmanuel Adesoye.

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