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Bi-Courtney criticizes FAAN for alleged non-compliance with court judgement

The Chairman, Bi-Courtney Group Nigeria Limited, Wale Babalakin, has accused the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, of violating rule of law principles by failing to heed court’s judgement.

Mr. Babalakin made the allegation on Thursday at ongoing four-day public hearing organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation in Abuja.

He said that a Federal High Court on March 3, 2009, in a judgment, ordered FAAN to hand over General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, to Bi- Courtney Limited.

He added that the judgment also ordered FAAN to paid damages of N132 billion to Bi-Courtney in 2012, which he said, had not been paid.

Mr. Babalakin told the committee that FAAN had stifled the development of the airport.

He said that the airport had hotel, conference facilities, mono-rail, fuel hydrant and power plant but that because of FAAN’s resistance, the projects were delayed.

He further said the company took over the relics of the former domestic terminal of the Lagos airport to build the multi-terminal that had remained the best in the country followed transparent process.

“In 2000, after the old Lagos Domestic Terminal was destroyed by fire, FAAN advertised for a Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) concession which was given to Standerton but was unable to execute.

“After 12 months, the BCL was invited as reserve bidder. BCL executed concession agreement with Federal Government and FAAN in April, 2003 after two years of extensive negotiation.

“FAAN did not defend itself properly at the court; Bi-Courtney defended itself vigorously and won the case.

“Sanderton was forced to discontinue against Stabilini Visinoni (SVL) and Bi-Courtney.

“FAAN lost the case. If any judgment was obtained against FAAN, it was due to poor conduct of its case.

“Bi-Courtney cannot be responsible for FAAN’s dereliction of duty,” he said.

On its part, the representative of FAAN, Monica Alphonse, said that FAAN was never involved in the committee set up to look into the agreement.

“FAAN was never involved; it never had a representative in signing the agreement so there is no way as far as FAAN was concerned that the committee existed.

“When we constituted the agreement, GAT was not involved in the area given to Bi-Courtney. GAT never formed part of the concession.

“It cannot be handed over through a mere letter but has to be through a cogent agreement,’’ she said.

Ms. Alphonse told the committee that that FAAN issued a termination letter of the contract to Bi-Courtney because the project was delayed.

“Last year, FAAN had an agreement with Bi-Courtney on the termination and a new agreement was made but up till this day, Bi-Courtney has not commenced work on that site,” she said.

Chairman of the committee, Nkiruka Onyejocha, said that the essence of the hearing was to consider all the concessions and review them to enable the committee come up with solution.

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