Court Orders Stay of Action on MMIA Concession


The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on February 6, 2023, ordered that the intended concession of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and cargo terminals be halted, pending the hearing and determination of a suit filed by Sifax Group of Companies Limited, challenging the bidding process. The matter has now been adjourned to March 29, 2023.

Sifax Group of Companies Limited filed a suit claiming that it was one of the 13 firms that submitted a bid for the contract after the third defendant issued a formal Request for Qualification; stating that no applicant is expected to bid twice for any of the specific assets under any guise or form.

Hence the suit against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Federal Government; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; NAHCO Aviance Plc; Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission; TAV Airports Holding Company and GMR Airport Limited as first to seventh defendants.

The plaintiff claims that contrary to the misleading impression that both the sixth and seventh defendants are separate entities, a search on the Internet showed something entirely different. It was revealed that the firm, Airport De Paris, owns 49 percent and 46 percent shares in both the sixth and seventh defendants respectively.

The plaintiff further added that having contravened the Request for Qualification without any legal basis, the sixth and seventh respondents should be disqualified from participating in the tender or joining a group in the future; because their action is a demonstration of dishonesty and deliberate plot to deceive the contracting authority.

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa ordered parties to maintain the ‘status quo’, following an application by Sifax lawyer, Kunle Ogunba (SAN) on Monday while he also overruled the objection raised by the fourth and sixth defendants’ lawyer, Adeseye Opasanya (SAN), to the suit.

Sifax is seeking: A declaration and a concomitant order that the submission of separate bids by the sixth and seventh respondents with the impression that they are separate entities without any admixture of ownership structure amounts to a material misrepresentation and a breach of Section 2.2, and Sub-section 2.2.1 of RFQ.

An order directing the third respondent to immediately disqualify the 6th defendant’s consortium and the 7th defendant’s submission, as well as ADP as a standalone party from participating in the tender or joining any group in the future after the announcement of pre-qualification results.

A declaration and concomitant order that the plaintiff is the most qualified bidder in the bidding process, both in terms of commercial and technical components of the entire bidding exercise and therefore should be declared the successful bidder for the concession of Murtala Muhammed International Airport.









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