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Nigeria Air Cannot Fly – Court Orders

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Nigerians hoping to witness the take-off of a new national carrier, Nigeria Air, before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been dashed by the court.

This is as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos ordered the Director General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to halt the issuance of an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to Nigeria Air.

It would be recalled that Air Peace, Azman, Max Air, United Nigeria Airlines, and Top Brass Aviation Limited had taken the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Attorney General of the Federation, Nigeria Air, and Ethiopian Airlines to court to stop the airline from flying.

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According to a motion filed November 10, 2023, the plaintiffs prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies, principals, or any other persons whatsoever from executing the proposed draft, “National Carrier’ establishment between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the strategic equity partner (second defendant) or giving effect to or suspending the sale and transfer of the share and operations of the first defendant by the second defendant pending the determination of the motion on notice.

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Also, the minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika had also expressed optimism that the new national carrier will commence operations before May 29 when the present government will exit the stage.

But, in an orders of interim and interlocutory injunctions, Justice A.Lewis Allagoa restrained any step in relations to the Nigeria Air project.

This was contained in a letter dated 19th April, 2023, notifying the NCAA of the restraining order by the plaintiff’s lawyer Abubakar Nuhu Ahmed, Esq. of Nureini Jimoh (SAN) Chambers.

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The letter reads: “You are therefore notified to desist from dealing with the Minister/the Ministry of Aviation and/ or their agents, privies or representatives, pertaining the Air Operator Certificate (AOC), subject matter of the suit, to avoid consequences of disobedience of court orders.”

“As a law-abiding Regulatory Agency, you are under the watchful eyes of the world and it is in your interest to desist from any further action on AOC process that will ridicule the integrity of the Agency before the local media as well as the Global Aviation Community.”

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