A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, restrained the Federal Government from enforcing or giving effect to an agreement on the Customs Modernisation Project otherwise known as E- Customs allegedly executed by its agents on May 30, 2022.
The agents who allegedly executed the disputed concession agreement are the Nigeria Customs Service, Trade Modernisation Project Limited, Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited and African Finance Corporation.
The court also issued an order of interim injunction against the Federal Government or its agents, acting through the Federal Executive Council, from retrospectively ratifying the decision to concession the Customs Modernisation Project also known as e- customs project to Trade Modernization Project Limited, Huawei Technologies Company Limited and African Finance Corporation.
The restraining order issued by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja Division of the court shall last till the hearing and the determination of a suit brought against the Federal Government and other parties by two aggrieved companies.
The two aggrieved companies, E-customs HC Project Limited and Bionica Technologies (West Africa) Limited jointly challenged the alleged unlawful and fraudulent concession of the E-custom project to the defendants.
Counsel to the two aggrieved companies, Anone Usman had on behalf of the two plaintiffs argued an ex-parte application praying the Federal High Court for the interim orders against the defendants to protect the interest of his clients.
Justice Ekwo while ruling on the ex-parte application granted the prayers of the plaintiff having placed sufficient evidence of interest in the concession project.
The judge also granted permission to the aggrieved companies to serve a writ of summons and all other filed processes on the African Finance Corporation at its head office, located in Ikoyi, Lagos through DHL courier services.
Defendants in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria; Attorney-General of the Federation; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Infrastructure Regulatory Concession Commission; Nigeria Customs Service; Trade Modernization Project Limited; Huawei Technologies Limited; African Finance Corporation and Bergman Security Consultant and Supply Limited being 1st to 9th defendants respectively.
Justice Ekwo subsequently fixed June 28 for hearing in the matter.
The two plaintiffs had in their statement of claim narrated how they proposed to carry out customs modernisation project through several government officials for the benefit of the Nigeria Customs Service.