Nigerian Minister Risks Jail Over Meter Contract


Nnamdi Felix / Abuja

Nigeria’s Power minister, Professor Barth Nnaji and Dr. Sam Amadi, chairman of National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, have been dragged before a Federal High Court siting in Abuja over controversies surrounding the pre- paid meter contract.

The court presided over by Justice Gladys Olotu on Thursday issued an order restraining both officials from awarding any contract for the manufacturing and procurement of the prepaid meter.

Justice Kayode Eso of the Court of Arbitration had earlier issued an order restraining the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, from awarding the contract to any other company pending the determination of the appeal brought by a firm, Ziklagsis Network Limited. But the minister was said to have vowed that the government of Nigeria would not be bound by any court order.

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PHCN in 2003, entered into a tripartite agreement with Ziklagsis, Unistar High-Tech System Limited for the maintenance of Prepaid Electricity Meters. Ziklagsis in a separate letters to Nnaji and Amadi alleged that the agreement was frustrated by very senior management staff of the PHCN through various manipulations.

The judgement of Justice Eso was said to have been disobeyed by the Minister and the NERC Chairman, a development that prompted counsel to Ziklagsis, Dr. Alex Iziyon, a senior advocate of Nigeria, to file Form 48 at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The court granted an interim injunction order restraining the the minister and NERC, their agents, servants or any other person however described from taking any action whatsoever that will directly or by implication renders nugatory the partial award granted in favour of Ziklagsis by the Sole Arbitrator, Hon. Justice Kayode Eso, JSC (Rtd) in the arbitration proceedings between Ziklagsis Network Limited and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

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