By Innocent Anaba
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, awarded N5 billion in favour of Mavies Limited as general damages in a suit against Societe International Telecommunication Aeronautiques, SITA.
SITA is an international aviation platform, which assists airport authorities and airlines to collect revenue.
Trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba in his judgment, granted all the reliefs sought by Mavies, in addition to the general damage awarded in its favour.
The plaintiff had in the suit, sought for a declaration that the defendants are liable to the plaintiff for willfully and intentionally procuring and/or inducing the Federal Airport Authority, FAAN, to breach its subsisting agreement with the plaintiff by engaging in inconsistent and prejudicial transactions with FAAN to the detriment of the plaintiff;
A declaration that the defendants’ actions in willfully and intentionally procuring and/or inducing FAAN to breach its subsisting agreement with the plaintiff is impacting on the plaintiff’s ability to collect revenue due to the Federal Government of Nigeria, pursuant to the facilities provided by the plaintiff under the agreement;
A declaration that any purported agreement or understanding for the provision of any Common Use Terminal Equipment or similar equipment and/or software/ application between the defendants (or any of their subsidiaries/ affiliates, agents or representatives) or any other person, apart from the plaintiff and FAAN, in respect of any or all of the four airports (already envisaged under the plaintiff’s subsisting agreement with FAAN) is invalid, unlawful, ineffective, null and void;
“An order of injunction restraining the defendants, acting by themselves, in concert with or through their officers, employees agents, attorneys, privies, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns or any other person, body, group or entity whatsoever and FAAN or any other agency of the Federal Government from negotiating, executing and/or implementing any agreement whatsoever in respect of, pertaining to, connected with or arising from any or all of the activities envisaged (or similar to those envisaged) under the plaintiff’s subsisting agreement with FAAN (particularly the CUTE) in relation to the four Airports.
The four airports are Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja; Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja; Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and Port-Harcourt Airport, Port-Harcourt, during the subsistence of the plaintiff’s agreement with FAAN;
An order of court setting aside any agreement whatsoever executed between the defendants and FAAN in respect of, pertaining to, connected with or arising from any or all of the activities envisaged (or similar to those envisaged) under the plaintiff’s subsisting agreement with FAAN (particularly the CUTE) in relation to the four airports;
An order of court directing the defendants to pay the plaintiff N5 billion being general damages for the defendant’s willful and intentional procurement and/or inducement of FAAN to breach its subsisting agreement with the plaintiff and also cost of the action.
The court granted the prayers of the plaintiff and awarded N5 billion as general damage, excluding cost of action.
It will be recalled, FAAN had on October 31, 2007, entered into agreement with Mavies Limited to provide an integrated Airport Operations Management System, AOMS, for FAAN.
“On the decision of the Ministers of Aviation, Labour and Justice, a notice of termination was duly issued to Maevis on February 24, 2011, with a two-month notice period with regards to the Concession Agreement. Thus the Concession effectively terminated on expiration of this notice on May 23, 2011.