Judge reverses and reassigns maritime contract case against Amaechi

Federal High Court Chief Judge John Tsoho has reversed his rejection of a request by Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi for the transfer of a case over the award of a critical maritime safety contract by his ministry to non-companies. qualified. Two weeks ago, the chief judge rejected Mr. Amaechi’s request to reassign the case to a vacant judge, claiming that the nation was losing revenue as a result of the project’s delayed implementation. The judge, in a letter dated April 7, 2022 written by his special assistant, Ambrose Unaeze, denied Amaechi’s March 31 request made through his attorney, Lateef Fagbemi. The International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) case was brought by a civil society organization, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER). The ICTN is an electronic cargo verification system that monitors the shipment of cargo transported by sea and enables the real-time generation of vital data on vessels and cargo traffic in and out of Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari approved the national security-sensitive maritime contract to a medical company nominated by Mr. Amaechi in a process on Public Procurement Office (BPP) said it was “disgraceful and illegal”. CASER had filed a lawsuit on December 13, 2021 against Mr. Amaechi, the Attorney General of the Federation and the BPP for irregularities in the award of the sensitive contract. Two firms, Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited, that won the contract join the suit as defendants. On December 17, 2021, following an ex parte request by CASER, the court prevented all defendants from taking further action regarding the appointment of ICTN operators. But, in a new letter dated April 14, 2022, Judge Tsoho overruled himself and agreed to transfer part of the case marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1587/2021 to a new judge. Violation On March 23, CASER’s lawyer, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, informed the judge in charge of the case, Donatus Okorowo, that Mr. Amaechi had allegedly violated the December 17 court order, prompting the judge to uphold the filing. of an accusation of contempt against the minister. Mr. Okorowo also ordered the suspension of the proceedings in the substantive lawsuit to make way for the hearing on the contempt charge against Mr. Amaechi and set May 9 for sentencing. Instead of waiting until May 9, the Minister of Transportation through his lawyer wrote the letter of March 31, alleging the utmost urgency, among other things, and requested that the case against him be reassigned to the vacation judge. of the court for an urgent hearing. The chief judge denied the request. But after another letter from Fagbemi, dated April 13, 2022, Tsoho changed his mind and agreed to have a portion of the lawsuit reassigned to the judge on vacation from the court. Justice Tsoho’s recent letter dated April 14, written by his assistant, Mr. Unaeze, in response to Mr. Amaechi’s second letter, states: “I am led by the Hon. President of the Federal Superior Court to refer to his letter dated April 13, 2022 regarding the above matter. “Having considered the responses according to your letters dated April 13, 2022 and April 1, 2022 respectively, the following is noted: that there is currently no indication of any proper or formal application for contempt proceedings. “The filing of Form 48 per se does not amount to a contempt petition or jail proceeding, in the absence of Form 49 with evidence of the alleged disobedience of the critic obtained after the Form 48 service. “Therefore, in view of the extreme urgency emphasized in relation to the matter, there is a good basis to refer the pending demands to be heard during the Easter holidays. “Consequently, our letter dated April 7, 2022 is cancelled. The pending notice of preliminary objection and the application for joinder in the lawsuit (but not the lawsuit itself) are reassigned to the vacation court for determination. Accept the assurances of His Honor, the Hon. head judge.” CASER reacts The group that presented the case criticized the decision. In statements by its executive director, Frank Tietie, CASER argued that it was impossible for Tsoho’s decision to guarantee justice in the case. “Thus, the directive that only the preliminary objection be known by a court on vacation leaving the main trial has the objective, in our opinion, of terminating the trial without the court ruling on the real problems of corruption and incompetence of companies, as it should be. be,” he said. “We firmly believe that the Chief Judge’s last directive to transfer the claim was imposed on him by the Hon’ble Minister of Transport’s counsel. when there is no real urgency, it is nothing more than a selfish interest that is in no way in the interest of Nigerian national security, thus endangering the peace and well-being of Nigerians. “We believe that the course of the administration of justice should run smoothly and without undue pressure. advertisements “To this end, we are very uncomfortable with the latest directive from the Chief Justice of the Federal Superior Court that a lawsuit due to be heard in less than a month be transferred to a judge on vacation for reasons he had previously deemed to be highly untenable. ” Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; Judge reverses and reassigns maritime contract case against Amaechi