The termination of the appointment of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, has been confirmed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The was disclosed by the president on July 12, in an affidavit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, over a suit brought against him by the Chief Executive Officer of Maritime Media Limited, Asu Beks, and two others.
The plaintiffs in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/485/2021, are challenging the powers of President Buhari to constitute the NPA Board and appoint the Executive Directors without recourse to the NPA Act.
In the matter before Justice Tujjani Ringim, they equally accused Buhari of hastily reappointing Hadiza Bala-Usman six months to the expiration of her tenure.
However, in the affidavit, filed on behalf of Buhari as his preliminary objection to the suit and signed by his counsel, Agan Tabitha of the Civil Litigation Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, the president posited that “the alleged reappointment of the third defendant (Hadiza Bala-Usman) upon which this court is being called upon to adjudicate, has since been terminated by the first defendant (Buhari) and the instant suit overtaken by the event of that termination.”
He went further to argue that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to bring the case, adding that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.
He said, “We submit that it is clear from the Plaintiffs’ affidavit, the questions for determination as well as the reliefs sought. It is obvious that the Plaintiffs neither suffered any injury as a result of the act or omission of the 1st Defendant.
“It is also evident that the claim against the Defendants is that the court should declare the alleged action of the 1st Defendant re-appointing, nominating and setting up of board of NPA illegal as it contravenes sections 2 and 10 NPA Act Cap N126, LFN 2004, even without stating that they have suffered any personal damage beyond any other person as a result of the said appointment.
“It is our submission that the Plaintiffs here do not possess the requisite locus standi to institute this action. Locus standi denotes the right of a party to institute an action in a court of law.”
Asu Beks, Tompra Abarowei, and Miebi Senge are respectively first to third plaintiffs in the suit.
The first to fourth defendants in the suit are President Buhari, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Hadiza Bala-Usman, and the Chairman NPA Board, Emmanuel Adesoye, respectively.