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Airlines sue Sirika as Nigeria Air planes arrive today

Domestic carriers operating under the auspices of the Airline Operators of Nigeria have criticised plans by the departing Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, to begin operations of Nigeria Air on Friday (today) in contravention of a court injunction on the contentious project. Because Friday is the last working day of this administration, AON lawyers have written to President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) asking him to intervene and prevent the minister from trying to “circumvent the court orders and possibly cover up the various infractions of Nigerian laws, among others.”

Additionally, the local carriers declared that they will file a lawsuit against the minister for contempt of court for intending to start the carrier despite a court order prohibiting it. The local airlines claimed that Sirika chose the final working day of the administration to bring in two aircraft in violation of the court order on the project in the letter titled “Nigeria Air Project: Last Minute Planned Disobedience to Court Order and Deliberate Plan to Rubbish the Achievement of this Administration,” which was signed by AON lawyers led by Abubakar Nuhu Ahmad of Nureini Jimoh Chambers.

Therefore, the local carriers pleaded with the President to put an end to the minister’s unlawful behaviour. Flying two planes in Nigeria Air livery, according to AON, “is a cunning way to violate court orders.” The lawsuit, it was recalled to President Buhari, was “filed to question the shady deals, deliberate infractions of the Nigerian laws and self enrichment/corruption, mainly by the ministry of aviation over Nigeria Air project.”

The letter was copied to the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Inspector General of Police, the Permanent Secretary, and the Attorney General of the Federation.