Court rejects Amaechi’s application to hear suit on cargo tracking note 

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday rejected an application by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi for hearing of the suit challenging his award of a contract for implementation of the international cargo tracking note (ICTN) on April 28 and 29. 

Justice Ahmed Mohammed held that the court was done with its duty as a vacation judge for the Easter, adding that continuing the matter would be in disobedience of the directive of the Chief Judge of the court, Justice John Tsoho, to hear the matter during vacation. 

Earlier, Amaechi’s counsel, Akin Olujimi, had submitted that Nigeria was losing huge revenues due to the non-conclusion of the suit. 

But counsel to the applicant, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, said he had indicated his unavailability for the proposed dates as the matter had earlier been fixed for May 9. 

Recall that in December, the Federal High Court ordered relevant officials and agency of the Federal Government to stop the plan to award cargo tracking note contract to two firms – Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited.

The court order restrained all five defendants in the suit – the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the two firms – from taking any further steps concerning the appointment of an operator for the ICTN. 

The judge, Donatus Okorowo, issued the order on December 17, 2021 following an ex parte application by a civil society organisation, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), which alleged irregularities in the process of awarding the contract.

In March 2022, the court approved the filing of a contempt suit against Amaechi for violating an order it issued on December 17, 2021 restraining him and other parties to the suit over the appointment of an operator for the ICTN. 

“The court will not close its eyes when being told that its orders are being flouted. We have to suspend proceedings for the court to ascertain the veracity of the allegations,” the judge said. 

Amaechi risks being jailed if found guilty of contempt.  

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