By Abdulwahab Abdulah
LAGOS — Two human rights activists, Messrs Olawale Fapounda and Richard Akinnola, have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to revoke the concession agreement between the Federal Government and Bicourtney Highway Services over allegation of non performance and “incessant destruction of lives and property along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.”
The plaintiffs, who listed Legal Resources Consortium as the third plaintiff, are asking for an order of mandatory injunction compelling the Federal Government to immediately repair and maintain the Lagos-Ibadan expressway “sequel to their obligations, legal and statutory duties so as to stem or curb the incessant traffic gridlock and destruction of lives and property on the expressway.”
Joined as defendants in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Minister of Works, his counterpart in the Ministry of Justice, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, and Bicourtney Highway Services Limited.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to declare that “the failure and or refusal of the 5th Defendant (Bicourtney Ltd) in executing the contract four years after its award amounts to abandonment and ought to be struck down and revoked.”
Also they urged the court to declare that “the incessant accidents and destruction of lives and property are a direct consequence of the negligence and willful refusal of the 5th Defendant in executing the concession agreement four years after its award.”
In addition, they are praying the court to declare that the government has “abandoned, shirked, abdicated their legal and statutory obligations to repair and maintain the Lagos- Ibadan expressway, thereby occasioning traffic gridlock and destruction of lives and property.”
In their suit, the plaintiffs want the court to determine whether the Bicourtney Limited as a concessionaire to whom the Federal Government had given approval in September 2009 for the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway has failed in executing the contract four years after the contract was awarded to it.
Also, they want the court to determine whether the Federal Government, having approved the concession of the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway to the company through the Executive Council of the Federation can revoke the contract awarded to the 5th defendant (Bicourtney) for non performance.
It averred that the concession agreement, having not followed due process nor complied with the guidelines of the concession agreement, should be struck down and revoked by the court sequel to its inherent powers.
No date has been fixed for the case.