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Terminal operator loses case against NPA at Federal High Court

Justice Saliu Saidu of Federal High Court, Ikoyi,
Lagos, on Tuesday struck out a suit filed by Port and Terminal Operators
Nigeria Limited (PTOL) against Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and
Attorney-General (AG) of the Federation.

the suit, PTOL alleged that since October 2013 vessels meant for its jetty were
diverted to another terminal concessioned to Intels Nigeria Limited by the NPA
and prayed the court to stop such diversion.
Justice Saidu struck out the case on grounds that his court lacked the
jurisdiction to entertain such matter since the NPA Act reserved such
matters for the Court of Arbitration.  
Intels is joined in the suit on grounds that the outcome of the case would
impact directly on its business activities.
It will be recalled that PTOL filed originating
summons and vide a Motion Ex-parte brought before Justice Saliu Saidu, obtained
an order of Interim Injunction on May, 20, 2015.
The injunction restrained the Defendants from
diverting two vessels meant for the plaintiffs terminal and any other vessel
meant for the plaintiffs terminal, pending the hearing of the originating
PTOL case is premised on the fact that they are the
Lessee of Terminal “A” Port Harcourt by virtue of a Concession Agreement
between the company and the Federal Government.
Under the said agreement, PTOL claimed that it is
entitled to receive vessels and cargoes of all descriptions into its terminal.
PTOL also alleged that since October 2013, NPA has
been diverting vessels meant for their terminal to another terminal
concessioned to Intels on the grounds that cargoes and pipes and dismantled
rigs are classified as oil and gas cargo.
Following the PTOL suit, NPA filed a Motion on
Notice seeking an order of the court to dismiss the entire suit for want of jurisdiction
on the grounds that no pre-action notice was issued to the first defendant.
NPA submitted that lack of pre-action
notice is in “contravention of Section 92(1) of the NPA Act, Cap.
N126, LFN, Vol. 12.

Based on the contravention, NPA prayed the
court to dismiss the entire suit which Justice Saidu granted today. 
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