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FG Acted Unlawfully on $3.1bn e-Customs Project, Firm Tells Court

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A firm seeking to be joined in the ongoing $3.1 billion e-Customs project suit in the Federal High Court Abuja, Adani Mega Systems Limited, has accused the federal government of acting unlawfully in awarding the contract.

 

 

It stressed that there were several pending suits on the matter before other courts.

 

In a motion on notice brought before the court by Taiwo Abe, counsel to Adani Mega Systems Limited, the company while seeking to be joined in the matter listed the cases and described the government’s action as subjudice.

 

The firm averred that it would be affected by the outcome of the ongoing matter while listing some of the pending cases it claimed were on and related which are concerned with automation of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

 

Adani Mega Systems Limited, through its lawyer wrote that, “The purported Federal Executive Council approval of 2nd September 2020, and the signing of the contract award to the Defendants for automation of the activities of the Nigeria Customs Service E-customs when an action is pending is clearly subjudice, pre-emptive of the court’s decision, illegal, unlawful and done to steal a match against the applicant. B.

 

“The subject matter of this instant suit is the same contract which was awarded to the Party/Applicant seeking to be joined by virtue of Project Engagement Mandate from the Central Bank of Nigeria dated the 16 day of February 2017, and a build, operate and own agreement on 20th of March 2017, and the Party/Applicant seeking to be joined holds a valid and duly executed contract with the Technical Committee of the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) which included the 1 to the 5 Defendants/Respondents and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on behalf of the Federal Goverment of Nigeria, as the Service Provider/Vendor for the Enterprise Screening Platform for the inspection of all inbound and outbound cargo as prescribed by Nigerian law.”

 

It stated further that, “By virtue of the relevant laws of Nigeria, only the Central Bank of Nigeria through the Technical Committee set up for that purpose has the mandate, power and authority to administer the provisions of the Pre Shipment Inspection of Exports Act and the Pre-Shipment Inspection of Imports Act and it is in furtherance of this powers that the Central Bank of Nigeria through the Technical Committee set up for that purpose engaged the services of the Party/Applicant seeking to be joined for the provision of the scanning services infrastructure and Octopus required for inspection of all inbound and outbound cargo as required by law in Nigeria.

 

“In compliance with the relevant due process laws of Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria sought and obtained a letter of ‘No Objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement with regards to the contract between the claimant and the federal government of Nigeria through the Technical Committee of the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS).”

 

“The Central Bank of Nigeria without any legal ground, reason or Justification purportedly terminated the said valid, legal contract on the 18th day of September, 2017 which illegal, unlawful, invalid termination is now subject of several litigations before the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.”

Culled from THISDAY

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