A judge of Federal High Court, Justice Muslim Hassan has summoned the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Captain Mukthar Usam and the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma for their failure to appear in court over contempt charge for tampering with two Bombardier aircraft belonging to Topbrass Aviation.
They are to appear in court at the next adjourned date fixed for February 28, 2019 to explain why they gave orders for tampering of the two Bombardier aircraft in contention between Topbrass Aviation and SeaGold Investment Limited, the lessor of the aircraft.
The summons was a fall out at the hearing of contempt proceedings On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, by Justice M. S Hassan.
President, Topbrass Aviation, Captain Roland Iyayi, who disclosed this said the summons became imperative because of the role played by NCAA and FAAN bosses in the disputed ownership of two Bombardier jets at Lagos airport.
Iyayi said despite a subsisting Court Order, NCAA and FAAN colluded with agents of the lessor to move the aircraft in question to a repair facility belonging to AeroContractors, where the aircraft are being tampered with.
He said despite the court order, agents of the lessor are colluding with AeroContractors to allegedly flout the court order.
The aircraft, two Dash-8 Q-300s with registration 5N-MSN 61TBB with 3 and 5N-TBC with MSN 614 , according to managing director of Top Brass Aviation, Roland Iyayi are still being tampered with at the Aero Contractors hangar despite a restraining order in 2015 which provided basis for the contempt charges.
However, a credible and highly-placed source in Aero contractors sources said Aero Contractors as a company has no interest in the aircraft and are only ensuring that after the entire proceeding, both aircraft are still recoverable for whomever the court ruling goes to.
However, Iyayi who spoke to The Nation alleged that barely two days after lawyers of both the NCAA and FAAN, promised to provide their principals in court on February 28 for the hearing, that the two aircraft are still being tampered with at the Aero Hangar.
According to Iyayi, the brake pad of the aircraft has been changed.
He said the propeller assembly of the aircraft has been removed and is awaiting replacement for ferry out of the country.
Iyayi expressed fears that at the rate that the impunity was being perpetuated, before the next date of the contempt hearing, the aircraft might have been worked on and ferried out since the NCAA DG, Captain Mukhar Usman and other parties served are still going about as if there was no court order.
Iyayi said, ”As at today pictures are being sent to us on what is going on at Aero and we are taking that again as further affidavits to court, to tell the court that despite the fact that we had a sitting two days ago, which would have been a contempt proceeding sitting, they are still tampering with the aircraft at Aero Hangar which is in violation of the order. we are going back to court with all the evidence because it is not good enough to speak, the idea is to show evidence. And indeed anytime we filed in court we have shown photographic evidence.”
“As I speak, 30 minutes ago, someone under the aircraft told me they had removed the propeller from one of the engines, the engine stand was there with the view of changing the engine. Two weeks ago, the brake unit of this aircraft was removed and replaced, all of these reports were given to me and continue to be given to me by Aero Contractors staff, working on the aircraft.”
“We actually approached the courts when all these were happening to ask for an exparte order that the aircraft be taken away from Aero hangar, possession of aircraft taken by the police, the IGP, AIG Airport and Commissioner of Police Airport, to take physical possession of the aircraft, secure it at a location at the airfield and report to the court about the security and safety of the aircraft pending the determination of the case. But the judge felt since there was going to be the contempt proceeding in two days time, felt there was no need to do that and felt the contempt proceeding will deal with it.”
Iyayi SAID Topbrass has invested over $12,000,0000 on the finance purchase agreement it entered into with Seagold for acquisition of the assets and had not defaulted in the 24 month agreement period to give Seagold unfettered access to the aircraft for repossession.
The contempt order was filed against Seagold Investment Limited, a pilot with the Presidential fleet, one Captain Baba Mohammed personally, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), its Director General, Captain Usman Mukhar personally, Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi personally, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) all of whom must comply with the restraining order until the matter was settled.
Justice Hassan ruled that all parties must be represented at the adjourned date or he will issue a bench warrant as the case was a quasi-criminal trial and those served needed to be present for the hearing.
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