A civil society organisation, Incorporated Trustees Of Citizens Advocacy For Social and Economic Rights (CASER), has filed a lawsuit against the Minister of Transportation, Attorney-General of the Federation, and the Bureau of Public Procurement over discrepancies in the award of a sensitive government contract.
Other defendants in the suit, dated December 13, 2021, are Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited, the two firms that got the deal.
The plaintiff prayed the court for an order restraining the minister, Rotimi Amaechi, from appointing the firms as operators of Nigeria’s International Cargo Tracking System.
PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported how President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Amaechi approved the national security-sensitive maritime contract to a medical company in a process the BPP said was “embarrassing and illegal.”
The International Cargo Tracking Note is an electronic cargo verification system that monitors the shipments of seaborne cargoes and enables a real-time generation of vital data on ships and cargo traffic in and out of Nigeria.
To go the contract going, Mr Amaechi obtained an anticipatory approval for the work from President Buhari. Although the president lacks the fiat to sideline procurement laws, the BPP claimed the presidential endorsement forced its hand on the deal.
Before approaching the president, Mr Amaechi had brushed aside the BPP’s order that companies given the contracts be selected through an international competitive bidding. Mr Buhari approved his request to had the contract to Medtech Scientific Limited and Rozi International Nigeria Limited.
In a motion on notice filed on behalf of CASER, through its counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, the plaintiff prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Mr Amaechi, “either by himself, servants, agents, privies or through any person or persons, howsoever, described or termed from appointing the 4th and 5th Defendants (the handpicked companies) as the operators of the International Cargo Tracking System (ICTN) in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
The group also prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining BPP, “either by itself, servants, agents, privies or through any person or persons howsoever described or termed from giving further approvals and waivers to the 1st Defendant in the planned appointment of the 4th and 5th Defendants (the two companies) as the operators of the International Cargo Tracking System (ICTN) in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
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