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Friday, 12 March 2021

Court halts bidding process of Onitsha, River Port concession

Court halts bidding process of Onitsha, River Port concession


An Abuja High Court sitting in Bwari, has restrained Universal Elysium Limited, Oranto Petroleum Limited and National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, from further proceeding with the bidding process for the concession of the Onitsha River Port, Anambra State.



They are also to stop giving any effect to any or some of the respondents in connection with any matter arising from traceable to or bearing on the concession of Onitsha River Port.



Trial judge, Justice O. Musa, while ruling on an ex-parte application by a lawyer and maritime stakeholder, Chidiebere Okafor, said: “All parties are to maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the originating motion on notice which shall be served on the respondent along with the court order.”



The court adjourned to May 13 for hearing in the substantive suit.



Okafor, had through his counsel, asked the court, for an order, declaring void and/or setting aside the entire concession process taken so far.



It included the evaluation reports for failure to comply with the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Safety Audit for the Onitsha River Port Concession.



But the judge held, “It is hereby ordered as follows: That prayer one sought on the face of the motion ex-parte is refused.”



According to the court, it “Ordered that the respondents either by themselves or through their assigns, agents, operatives or officers howsoever described, either are acting individually or in concert with each other, are restrained from further proceeding with the bidding process for the concession of the Onitsha River Port or giving any effect to any or some of the respondents in connection with any matter arising from traceable to or bearing on the concession of Onitsha River Port pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion on notice.”



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