FEDERAL High Court sitting in Abuja yester­day refused an ex-parte order sought by Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to stop the Bureau of Pub­lic Enterprises (BPE) from transferring the Aba and Ariaria business districts to Aba Power Limited (APL) today.

Ruling on the applica­tion, Justice Gabriel Ko­lawole said he was not satisfied with the reasons adduced by EEDC for the orders sought to be made ex-parte. The trial judge, however, asked the parties to maintain the status quo.

After listening to counsel to the plain­tiffs, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN), Justice Kolawole ordered the Federal Government and the National Council on Privatisation(NCP) to appear before him on September 22 to show cause why the order sought by the plaintiffs to restrain the defendants from handing over Aba ring-fenced territory to APL should not be grant­ed.

The BPE had on Au­gust 25 directed EEDC to hand over the Aba ring-fenced area to APL on September 10, saying the business district was not part of the PHCN as­sets sold to the EEDC on October 30, 2013, during the privatisation of the nation’s 11 power distri­bution companies (DIS­COs).

But dissatisfied with the development, the EEDC and Interstate Electrics Limited ap­proached the court to stop the impending handover.

The plaintiffs listed the Federal Government, NCP, BPE, NERC, APL and Afrigem Integrated Utilities Ltd as defen­dants in the suit.

They asked for a dec­laration that the letter dated August 24, 2015 and titled “Re: Handover of Aba and Ariaria Ring- Fenced Zone to Agrigem Integrated Utilities Ltd” was beyond the author­ity of the BPE (the 3rd defendant).

They also sought a declaration that the plain­tiffs remained the sole owner of all the distribu­tion facilities within the EEDC zone, covering Aba, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states.

The plaintiffs urged Justice Kolawole to re­voke APL’s licence to operate and order the Nigerian Electricity De­velopment Commission (NERC) to stop recog­nising the company as an operator in the elec­tricity industry.

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