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President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed to terminate the appointment of beset Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman.
Buhari made this known July 12 in an affidavit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, in a suit brought against him by the Chief Executive Officer of Maritime Media Limited, Asu Beks, and two others.
In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/485/2021, the plaintiffs had filed a suit to challenge President Buhari’s authority to set up the NPA Board and appoint the Executive Directors without resort to the NPA Act.
They also asserted that the President hastily reappointed Hadiza Bala-Usman six months to her tenure expiration.
The affidavit, which was filed as Buhari’s initial objection to the suit was signed by Agan Tabitha of the Civil Litigation Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, on behalf of Buhari’s counsel.
Buhari argued that “the alleged reappointment of the third defendant (Hadiza Bala-Usman) upon which this court is being called upon to adjudicate, has since been terminated by the first defendant (Buhari) and the instant suit overtaken by the event of that termination.”
The President also argued that the plaintiffs lack the locus standi to bring the case and the Federal High Court has no authority to hear the matter.
Therefore, Buhari advised the court to dismiss the suit as it has become purely academic.
He argued, “We submit that it is clear from the Plaintiffs’ affidavit, the questions for determination as well as the reliefs sought. It is obvious that the Plaintiffs neither suffered any injury as a result of the act or omission of the 1st Defendant.
“It is also evident that the claim against the Defendants is that the court should declare the alleged action of the 1st Defendant re-appointing, nominating and setting up of board of NPA illegal as it contravenes sections 2 and 10 NPA Act Cap N126, LFN 2004, even without stating that they have suffered any personal damage beyond any other person as a result of the said appointment.
“It is our submission that the Plaintiffs here do not possess the requisite locus standi to institute this action. Locus standi denotes the right of a party to institute an action in a court of law.”
The plaintiffs in the suit are Asu Beks, Tompra Abarowei, and Miebi Senge as first to third plaintiffs accordingly.
The first to fourth defendants are Buhari, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Hadiza Bala-Usman, and the Chairman NPA Board, Emmanuel Adesoye, accordingly.
The case is before Justice Tujjani Ringim of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
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