AIC battles FAAN over concession agreement
By Oyise OGHENE
LAGOS: The airport environment was thrown into a state of pandemonium and free for all as the nation witnessed yet another war yesterday, now between the A.I.C Limited owned by Chief Harry Akande and FAAN over the construction of A.I.C Hilton Hotel at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Biztellers was at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos and gathered that the situation at the VIP car park where the tussle between both parties were going on, officials of A.I.C Limited chased out FAAN officials from the landed property which was concessioned to it to build the A.I.C Hilton Hotel in 1998.
It was further gathered that FAAN had illegally broke into the landed property by destroying the fence and the gate house sited by A.I.C Limited on the land against court interlocutory injunction given by Justice R.O. Nwodo on the 18th, February 2002 restraining FAAN from taking possession of the land as well as disturbing A.I.C Limited’s workers or contractors whenever they want to carry out their construction work.
Biztellers also reports that after chasing out the officials of FAAN off the land, A.I.C officials erected the fence that was hitherto broken by FAAN which gave the agency the opportunity of using the land as a VIP car park for some days now.
Speaking to Biztellers, General Manager, Administration and Business Development, Chief Niyi Akande who spoke on behalf of the International Business mogul who was also present at the site, Chief Harry Akande said that A.I.C Limited got a bid from FAAN on the 17th, February 1998 to build an A.I.C Hilton Hotel in a concession agreement spanning for 50 years but added that FAAN came all of a sudden to disrupt the project while the construction work of the hotel was in progress which was against the initial agreement entered into by both parties.
According Chief Akande, since then both parties had been in the Federal High Court which ruled in favour of A.I.C Limited restraining FAAN from taking over the landed property adding that in the arbitration headed by Justice Friday Esun, he also awarded a fine to FAAN to pay A.I.C Limited 46 million dollars for lost of profit and income that A.I.C had suffered for the hotel that should have been built and opened ten years ago.
He said ’’By bid that was dated 17th, February 1998, FAAN gave us a 50 years lease on this land stretching all the way down for the construction of our international 5 star hotel that will be connected to the airport terminal, this portion is where it is supposed to link the terminal and we have been in peaceful concession since that time. But at a time when FAAN decided to determine the lease, we challenged it at the Federal High court, you know they chased our men off the site around 2000, 2001, so we went to court and at the Federal High Court Justice R.O. Nwodo gave an interlocutory injunction that FAAN or its servants or its agents should not disturb, harass or eject A.I.C Limited people, our workers or contractors from the site and that was even in May 2002 and that has been subsisting subject to us going to arbitration’’
‘’We went for arbitration and the arbitration ran from 2002 which was just decided about two years ago. It was done by late Justice Friday Esun, he gave an award which he said that FAAN was wrong to have prevented A.I.C from building the hotel and FAAN was wrong for disturbing and harassing A.I.C on the site, so he gave a fine against FAAN that they should pay A.I.C about 46 million dollars for lost of profit and income that A.I.C had suffered for the hotel that should have been opened ten years ago’’ he stressed.
According to Chief Akande, ‘’FAAN officials came in last week, broke the fence and then destroyed our gate house and they came in and started clearing the land and ask people to come in to park their cars which is a criminal bridge of law, so we have blogged the place so that they cannot take out that truck because that will serve as evident in court’’
When contacted at the time of filing this report, General Manager Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati said that he was aware of the situation pointing out that, he was going to issue a statement to that effect to lay bare the side of FAAN on the on-going dispute between the agency and A.I.C Limited.