Court awards Maevis N5bn as damages over airport contract

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tunde_fagbemi_of_maevisA Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday, awarded N5 billion as damages in favour of Maevis Nigeria Ltd., in a suit against Societe International Telecommunication Aeronautiques (SITA).

Justice Ibrahim Buba awarded the amount and also granted all other relief sought by the plaintiff.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maevis had filed the suit against SITA for willfully inducing the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to breach a subsisting agreement it had with it.

The plaintiff averred in their statement of claim that it entered into a concessionary agreement with FAAN on Oct. 31, 2007.

“The contract was for the supply of Airport Operations Management System (AOMS), to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA), Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, and the Port Harcourt Airport.

“It was agreed that the contract would last for 10 years and renewable every five years subject to satisfactory performance,’’ the plaintiff averred.

The plaintiff averred that it supplied and installed the equipment at the MMIA and NAIA, while facilities were deployed to the Kano and Port-Harcourt Airports for installation.

According to the plaintiff, five years into the agreement and after it had committed over N5 billion into the project, FAAN terminated the agreement on Feb. 24, 2011, claiming it had lost N17 billion due to the incompetence of the plaintiff.

“FAAN then employed the services of the defendants, SITA, who had intentionally negotiated for patronage,’’ the plaintiff.

It said that the defendant hijacked and converted all the equipment supplied by Maevis for their operations.

“FAAN forcefully chased us out from its premises to pave the way for SITA’s take-over and enable it use the equipment provided by Maevis,’’ the plaintiff also said.

For this reason, SITA was dragged to court by Maevis.

The plaintiff therefore sought an injunction, restraining the defendant from executing any of the agreement with FAAN, as well as N5 billion as general damages for conversion of equipment.

Justice Buba granted all reliefs sought by plaintiff, and ordered it to pay N5 billion to Maevis as general damages.

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