Court dismisses Terminal Operators application to stay execution
A FEDERAL High Court, Lagos has dismissed the stay of execution application filed by the Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), on the judgment declaring that they had no right to increase port charges.
Terminal operators had appealed for stay of execution and had gone to the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgment.
Justice Ibrahim Buba, yesterday dismissed the application for stay of execution, saying that there was no evidence to show that the judgement given earlier was executed at all.
“For there to be stay of execution, the judgement must have been seen to have been executed, there was no evidence to that effect, therefore the aplication for stay cannot subsist; its hereby dismissed,” Buba held.
He, however, granted the interlocutory application filed by NigerianShippers Councul (NSC), compelling STOAN to comply with the judgment earlier given.
He said that interlocutory injunction were meant to protect legal rights.
However, the counsel who represented STOAN, Mr. Dayola Johnson had earlier told the court that there was a record of appeal before the court quashing the jurisdiction of the court to continue hearing the case.
Buba said that the affidavit of records which was filed by STOAN, was filed on March 18, after court had adjourned to rule on the application for stay of execution.
He therefore held that all pending application should go to the court of appeal.
Justice Buba had on December 17, 2014 in a judgment, annulled illegal port charges and ordered shipping companies to refund billions of naira collected since 2006 from shippers (importers and exporters).
The Judge affirmed in his judgement, the appointment of the NSC as the Economic Regulator of the ports and dismissed the claims of shipping companies and the terminal operators.
Buba further held that the Shipping Line Agency Charges (SLAC) levied and collected from Nigerian shippers by the shipping companies since 2006 was illegal.
He ordered that the shipping companies should account and pay to Nigerian shippers all monies or fees charged and collected since 2006 as SLAC from shippers or users of shipping and port-related services from 2006 to date.
The Court dismissed the claims of the shipping companies and the terminal operators and granted the Counter claims of the NSC.
Pursuant to the appointment of the NSC as the Economic Regulator of the Nigerian ports by the Federal Government in February 2014, the council issued notices to both the shipping companies and terminal operators to reverse all illegal charges levied on Nigerian shippers. Dissatisfied, the shipping companies and the terminal operators, mostl
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