The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted the extension of the interim order earlier made against the Nigerian Ports Authority pending the hearing and determination of all pending applications in the matter.
On 28th August 2020, Justice R.M. Aikawa had restrained the NPA from giving effects to its purported notice of expiration or taking any steps to prevent Intels from performing their duties and obligations under the parties’ agreements. NPA has however filed an application seeking to set aside the said order ex parte.
At today’s proceedings before the vacation Judge, Justice Oweibo, counsel to Intels, led by Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN informed the court that he had just been served with a preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court in the open court today and prayed the court for an adjournment to allow all pending applications be heard together. He further prayed the court that since by the rules of court, the earlier order expires within fourteen (14) days, it is in the interest of justice pursuant Order 26 Rule 10 (3) to extend the life of the subsisting order ex parte.
Counsel to the Nigerian Ports Authority, led by Abimbola Akeredolu SAN vehemently opposed the application on the ground that since the jurisdiction of the court is being challenged, the order to extend the ex parte injunction should not be made.
In a considered ruling, the court agreed with the Intels’ counsel, holding that since the time within which NPA can respond to the substantive matter is still up and running, it is in the interest of justice that the order made ex parte is extended till the hearing and determination of all the pending applications. The matter was therefore adjourned to 22nd October 2020 for hearing of applications.
The Respondent was also restrained from giving effect to the purported notice of expiration issued by it OR taking any step to prevent parties from performing their duties and obligations under the agreement between same Respondent and the 1st Applicant dated 11 February 2011 and 24 August 2018.