The dispute between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited in respect of concession agreement for the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 is far from over as the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria on Thursday removed BASL advertisements from parts of the terminal.
The MMA2 is currently managed by BASL based on the concession agreement between it and the Federal Government, a development being contested by the government.
But the crisis between both parties took another dimension on Thursday as security officials attached to the aviation agency embarked on the removal of the outdoor advertisements placed by the concessionaire.
It was gathered that as early as 9am, FAAN deployed trucks and officials numbering over 50 to remove the adverts.
The officials, according to eyewitnesses at the airport, forcefully removed the giant advertisement billboards on the link bridge connecting MMA2 and a hotel facility being developed by the concessionaire.
Billboards advertising IBM on the walls of the hotel, which directly faces MMA2, were also removed.
BASL alleged that the aviation authority alongside vandals pulled down the billboards, adding that FAAN had breached the concession agreement.
The Head, Litigation, BASL, Mr. Tola Oshobi, alleged that FAAN pulled down billboards erected by Bi-Courtney at the airport, describing the action as a violation of the concession agreement.
Oshobi stated that on November 15, 2011, in a case between his firm and the Managing Director of FAAN, the issue of FAAN’s right to pull down advertisements installed by Bi-Courtney came before the Federal High Court for resolution.
He said, “In a comprehensive judgment delivered by Justice Stephen Jonah Ada, the court decided that under the agreement, FAAN had no right whatsoever to take laws into its own hands.
“If there is a dispute between FAAN and Bi-Courtney, this dispute must be resolved by arbitration in accordance with Article 22 of the concession agreement.”
When contacted, FAAN’s spokesperson, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said the adverts were illegal. He stressed that BASL did not get approval from the authority to erect billboards and place adverts at the airport.
Source: The punch newspaper