…court orders parties to maintain status-quo
…FAAN disagrees with I-Cube on Status-quo, insists concessionaire vacates premises
Posted by Sade Williams
The management of I-Cube Imaging West Africa, the concessionaire collecting revenue at the Access gate at Lagos airport on behalf of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), on Friday, accused the Authority of contempt of court as the Authority’s workers vandalized the concessionaire’s properties despite the fact that the case was in court.
Briefing journalists at the office of the concessionaire’s office near the Access gate, Solicitor to I-Cube, Charles Ebhoman, lamented that that despite the fact that the case was in court, the workers of the Authority came into the premises of the company to vandalise its electricity cables, gadgets and water.
He also said that the court in a suite No: FHC/L/CS/2364/2019 on February 18, 2019, has ordered that all parties remain status-quo, adding that February 28 has been fixed for hearing of pending application .
Speaking further on the vandalization of I-Cube properties, Ebhoman described the attitude of the workers as unfortunate, adding that the Agency of government that preaches the rule of law should not be a party to vandalism.
“Despite the existence of a court order, they came into the premises to vandalise my client’s properties, it is very unfortunate that an Agency government whose mantra is that of the rule of law is going against the law, they came and said they are the Federal government but I do know that the Federal government also operates within the ambit of law.
“They have joined issues with us, all the issues are in the court but is unfortunate that they decided to embark on this by taking laws into their hands”, he said.
Quoting part of the judgment obtained on 18, he said, “That parties herein in this Suite are hereby directed to maintain status-quo ante bellem. That the return date shall be the 28th day of February, 2020 for hearing of pending applications”.
He claimed that I-Cube was remitting N68million to FAAN on a monthly basis even when the Authority refused to respond to the letter written to it three months before the expiration of the contract in February 2019.
Tunji Olaosun, head of Strategy, I-Cube who took journalists round the vandalized facilities explained that on February 20, 2020, some staff of FAAN came into the premises of company with Saw, cut destroyed the water system and cut off electrical cables at the company.
“Right now, we cannot hold this press conference in the office because the place is very hot, there is no electricity, the pipes supplying water to the tanks had been cut off and when we tried to connect the Generating set this morning, some if the workers came and dismantled it but we did not resist because we are law abiding.
Reacting, Comrade Abdulrazaq Saidu, the General Secretary of Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) said: Nobody vandalized but FAAN Management has given them letter to vacate the area. They cannot remain using light and facilities when they have told them to vacate the place. FAAN owns the gate and the workers took back their jobs when agreement was due since Feb 2019. On court case, I-Cube was taken to court by another company and FAAN is also a defender. I-Cube has no justification to report to Police when they are not to be there.
He added: “FAAN can’t allow the use of its facilities without payment. They are no longer a concessionaire to FAAN albeit temporarily and they can’t continue to use the facility without payment. On the water supply, there was the need to disconnect the water supply because of the ongoing construction works at that area of the airport.
“The status quo was that the contract was no longer running as at the time it was terminated. It was not I-CUBE that took FAAN to court, but the other concessionaire. So the court case doesn’t concern I-CUBE”, he said.
Also reacting, Comrade Danjuma Ahmed, chairman of ATSSSAN, FAAN branch said; ‘after the incident of February 3, they were mandated to leave the premises but they pleaded with FAAN management to give them time, but after sometimes, there was no sign to move but when we went on inspection with a Director, we realized that they have movable things, again they agreed they will move by end of this month but we said no because they are using the facilities to sell our stickers, we saw people who came to buy stickers on that day.
“So we told them to leave, they came the following day and still complained but this is the third week, but we told them that if they refuse to move, we will cut of their light and water supply and we are going to lock up the premises, that is our own way of saying go. It is public property. They should pack their property and leave because the contract has expired”, he said.
Recall that early this month, three unions at the FAAN: the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), on paralysed activities at the Access gate and took over toll collection, claiming that the contract had expired and that the company was not remitting appropriate proceeds to FAAN.