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Court restrains NDDC on road project in Edo


THE Federal High Court in Benin at the weekend, granted an interim injunction restraining the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Attorney General of the Federation from continuing with the over N350 million Obe-Umoghun road construction project in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.

Others restrained include the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement and Askay Construction Company. The injunction was sequel to the suit filed by an indigenous contractor, A. C. Egbe Nigeria Limited, with suit N0 FHC/B/CS/116/2010.

The road construction work has been a subject of controversy since it was awarded between some groups in the area who claimed that the award of the contract to Askay did not put into consideration the local content policy of the Federal Government as they argued that A. C. Egbe an indigenous firm has the capacity to build the road, therefore it ought to be given the contract.

The contract earlier awarded to the indigenous firm after pressure from traditional rulers in the area was revoked by the NDDC and awarded to Askay and this triggered series of reactions, protests, petitions and counter-petitions to the Commission.

Consequently, A. C. Egbe headed to the court and the court presided over by Justice Adamu Hobon, ordered the NDDC and the others mentioned in the suit from continuing with the contract until the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction already filed in the suit.

The court also ordered ” directing that the status quo in respect of the Oben-Umoghun Road project be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice already filed in this suit.

“It is further ordered that the applicant shall enter into undertaking in writing to pay damages adequately to the respondents should it turn out that this application should not have been granted in the first instant,” it stated.

Hearing in the suit was fixed for May 27, 2010.

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