A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned further proceedings in the suit filed by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) to prevent the establishment of a proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air, until February 13.
Following an application by lawyers representing Nigeria Air, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, seeking to transfer the case from the Federal High Court in Lagos to the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa adjourned the case.
Jurisdictional issues were cited as a major reason by the lawyers. They also stated that if the suit proceeds to hearing, some of the defendants who do not reside within the Honourable Court’s Judicial Division will face significant hardship.
Domestic airline officials, on the other hand, have stated that they will oppose the transfer of the case to Abuja because all of the parties involved in this case are based in Lagos.
The court was informed on Monday that the application for transfer was not ready for hearing.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa also expressed concern about recent publications about the application, which has yet to be heard.
He then rescheduled the case for February 13, 2023 to hear the application.
Domestic airlines claimed that the proposed Nigeria Air’s sale of shares violated both the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
As a result, they petitioned the court to halt the sale.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa ordered the Federal Government and domestic airlines to maintain the status quo in their suit relating to the establishment of an airline at the court’s last sitting in November 2022.
The judge issued the order pending the outcome of the suit filed by the Registered Trustees of the Airline Operators of Nigeria and five other aviation industry participants.