Floating Nigeria Air contempt of court, operators tell Buhari

By John C. Azu

Airline operators have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the planned floating of Nigeria Air before his exit from office.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) said the plans by the Federal Ministry of Aviation would amount to contempt of court orders on the Nigerian Air project.

In a letter addressed to the president by counsel to the AON, Nureini Jimoh (SAN), said they would pursue a contempt proceeding against the minister, Hadi Sirika, after his tenure.

He said the three orders by a Federal High Court in Lagos presided by Justice A. L. Allagoa made injunctions restraining the minister from taking any step in relation to the Nigeria Air project, adding they would be violated with the planned floating of the airline.

“The minister is planning to hurriedly bring in two aircraft and pretend that Nigeria Air has commenced operation.

Aside moral justification for commercial operation after the minister’s last day in office, it is a clear way to violate the court orders. This action has no regard to whether or not it will stain the record of this administration,” he said.

In the suit before the court, AON is contending that the action, conduct and or decisions in the sale of the shares and operations of the Nigeria Air are “in violation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020,

SEC Nigeria Consolidated Rules & Regulations 2013 (as amended in 2022), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Act, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention, Civil Aviation Act, Public Procurement Act, Concession Regulatory Commission (Est.) Act, 2005, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, Procurement Processes for Public Private Partnership in the Federal Government under the National Policy on

Public Private Partnership (N4P) and Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, 2015 and other regulatory statutes on aviation, companies and investment laws in Nigeria.”

While demanding N2 billion in damages against the defendants, the AON wants the court to make “an order directing the immediate, fresh and transparent bidding process(es) involving the plaintiffs being the indigenous airline operators in Nigeria rightly entitled to participate in the process.”






Media Trust Limited