STOAN VS NSC: Battle shifts to A’Court as concessionaires file 28 grounds for objection of H’Court ruling

With the ruling yesterday by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos on the application for stay of execution of a judgement he delivered on December 17, 2014 filed by the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), the legal battle between the association and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has effectively moved to the Court of Appeal.

It would be recalled that in his ruling on December 17, 2014 in a matter between STOAN and the NSC, Buba had affirmed the power of the Council to regulate economic activities at the nation’s seaports. But dissatisfied with the ruling, the association had filed an appeal against the judgement and also sought a stay of execution. But Buba, in his ruling yesterday, refused the plaintiff’s application for stay of execution on the grounds that it lacked merit.

Dissatisfied however, STOAN Counsel, Dayo Ayoola Johnson, said his client would appeal the ruling.

He said, “The judge is of the view that we have not shown exceptional circumstances in the case but that is his opinion. We believe we have shown sufficient basis for the court to stay the execution of the judgement.

“We have not less than 28 grounds of appeal which has been filed challenging the judgement and which borders on the jurisdiction of the court declaring the Nigerian Shippers Council as economic regulator.”

On his part, counsel to the NSC, Emeka Akabogu said with the STOAN’s application for stay of execution dismissed, the court’s judgement of December 17, 2014 remains a valid law.

“Until an application has been filed and served by the Court of Appeal, the judgement of the court on the 17th of December stands and it is a valid law at the moment,” he said.

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