Various media reports, including in The Punch, allege that the appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman, long suspended as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, has been terminated following a July 12 affidavit filed by the Federal Ministry of Justice at the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The suit, marked FHC/L/CS/485/2021, was filed by Mr. Asu Beks of Maritime Media Limited and two others against President Muhammadu Buhari for prematurely reappointing Hadiza Bala-Usman to a second term, reconstituting the NPA Board and appointing the Executive Directors, without recourse to the NPA Act.
Bala-Usman had six months to the expiration of her first tenure.
The affidavit, which was filed as Buhari’s preliminary objection to the suit was signed by Agan Tabitha of the Civil Litigation Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, on behalf of Buhari’s counsel.
Buhari argued 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 also argued that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to bring the case; that the Federal High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter, and consequently, urged the court to dismiss the suit as it had become purely academic.
Aside from Beks, the other plaintiffs are Tompra Abarowei and Miebi Senge while the first to fourth defendants are Buhari, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Hadiza Bala-Usman, and the Chairman NPA Board, Emmanuel Adesoye, respectively.
The matter is before Justice Tujjani Ringim of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Nevertheless, a proper statement on the matter is yet to be released by the Presidency whether the media summation is accurate or true, as the constituted investigating panel of inquiry is yet to submit its report.