Abuja Federal High Court ordered relevant officials and the federal government agency to stop the proposed award of a sensitive international cargo tracking system contract to two companies – Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited.
The court order prevented the five defendants prosecuted in the case – Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, the Public Procurement Bureau (BPP), Federation Attorney General Abubakar Malami, and the two companies – from taking other measures. concerning the appointment of an operator for the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN)
DU Okorowo, the judge, issued the order on December 17, 2021 following an ex parte request by a civil society organization, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), which alleged irregularities in the contract award process.
Mr. Okorowo, after hearing counsel for the Complainant, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, Senior Counsel for Nigeria, inter alia issued an Interim Injunction Order prohibiting the 2nd Respondent (BPP) from appointing the 4th and 5th Defendants (Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited) as operators of ICTN in Nigeria pending hearing and decision of the motion on notice.
The judge also issued another interim injunction order prohibiting BPP “from giving any further approvals and waivers to the 1st defendant (Minister of Transport) in the planned appointment of the 4th and 5th defendants (both companies) as ITCN operators.
It also issued a simar order prohibiting Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited or their agents “from parading or operating as operators of ICTN.
Finally, the judge ordered the five defendants to suspend “all other steps towards the appointment of a company or an entity as operator of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) in Nigeria pending the hearing and decision of the motion on notice ”.
The judge then adjourned until January 12 for the hearing of the plaintiff’s motion on notice.
Why we filed a complaint-CASER
In a statement announcing the court order on Monday, CASER executive director Frank Tietie, a lawyer,
said the group filed the complaint to challenge “The ongoing process of appointing an Executing Officer for the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) in Nigeria” due to “the manner in which the process is being conducted by the Honorable Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi “.
“CASER initiated the case because of serious concern for Nigeria’s internal security following the massive influx of small arms and light weapons (SALW) through Nigerian seaports,” the statement added.
He said the organization feared that “Nigeria would lose huge billions of dollars as a result of poor monitoring of exports and imports of goods.”
The overall objective of the case, according to Mr. Tietie, “is simply to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) with international best practices and standards in the procurement of such sensitive services. to security “.
PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported how President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr. Amaechi approved the maritime contract sensitive to national security to a medical company in a process the BPP called “embarrassing and illegal”.
The International Cargo Tracking Note is an electronic cargo verification system that monitors ocean freight shipments and provides real-time generation of vital data on vessels and freight traffic entering and leaving Nigeria.
To launch the contract, Mr. Amaechi obtained early approval for the work of President Buhari. Although the president does not have the power to set aside government procurement laws, the BPP claimed that presidential approval forced the deal.
Before addressing the president, Mr. Amaechi had dismissed the BPP’s order to select the companies to be awarded the contracts through an international call for tenders. Mr. Buhari approved his request to have the contract with Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited.
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