Following whistleblowers reports and a suit slammed on the senior public officials involved in the fraudulently conceived multi-billion International Cargo Tracking Note for Nigeria, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has restrained the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, and others from taking any further step towards nominating any company or entity to be operators of the ICTN.
The court ordered that the injunction granted should subsist pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed pursuant to the substantive suit.
Other officers and agencies of the Federal Government affected by the court order are the Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the ICTN implementing agencies appointed by Amaechi singlehandedly without due process — MedTech Scientific Ltd and Rozi International Ltd.
Persecondnews recalls that the Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER) and other maritime organizations had raised concerns about the official malfeasance associated with the ongoing process of appointing an implementing agent for the ICTN in Nigeria.
Consequently, CASER decided to challenge in court the manner the process is being carried out by the Minister of Transportation.
CASER instituted the case out of serious concern for Nigeria’s internal security following the massive inflow of small arms and light weapons (SALW) through Nigerian seaports. CASER is also concerned that Nigeria loses huge billions of dollars following the improper tracking of cargo exports and imports.
The overall goal of the case by CASER, according to Mr Frank Tietie, the Executive Director, is to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) with international best practices and standards in procurement of such security-sensitive services.
CASER, therefore, expressed gratitude to the legal firm of A.U. Mustapher (SAN) for accepting to take up the case on a pro-bono basis.
Persecondnews recalls that Transport Minister Amaechi had singlehandedly appointed Messers Medtech Scientific Ltd in partnership with Rozi International Nig. Ltd with their technical partners as Frademar UK Ltd and Frademar SRL Genova Italy. While Frademar UK Ltd is simply a trading company with a two-member staff, Frademar SRL is merely a shipping agency.
He had circumvented due process in the award of the multi-billion dollar contract for the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN), and also recently raised a team to fleece Nigeria to visit Italy and London to carry out the required “due diligence’’ on the companies.
A peek into the companies shows that they have absolutely NO experience and knowledge of the service they want to render …Medtech is a medical equipment supply company registered and operating here in Nigeria. The company has neither implemented CTN for any country nor possesses any known platform to do so.
The minister picked a medical company in Nigeria without professional competence and knowledge in International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN), thereby bypassing known procurement laws.
ICTN, an electronic cargo verification system, monitors the shipment of seaborne cargo and enables a real-time generation of vital data on ship and cargo traffic in and out of Nigeria. Also known as Advance Shipment Information System, Advance Cargo Declaration, ICTN is a global application in shipping trade that will provide accurate shipping data as well as monitor and verify cargo in transit from port of loading to port of destination.
Persecondnews.com investigations show that the latest move is to give the contract a semblance of due diligence after Amaechi had spurned and called the bluff of the National Security Adviser, retired Major-General Babagana Monguno and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) who had flagged and queried the non-competitiveness of the multi-billion contract award without the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and BPE as required by law.
Amaechi’s team of loyalists selected from the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Shippers Council and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) is already in Italy and UK to perfect the scam.
The minister had in a four-paragraph letter to the President dated August 19, 2021, stated:“I am requesting that Mr President reconfirms his earlier approval and direct that the ministry engage Messers Medtech Scientific Ltd in partnership with Rozi International Nig. Ltd to be presented to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to avoid delay in the implementation of ICTN.’’
The anticipatory approval of the President outside the Federal Executive Council has continued to set tongues wagging among stakeholders in the industry.
The duo invited the minister to several meetings over security and economic implications of the project which he repudiated and never batted an eye because he had hoodwinked President Muhammadu Buhari to get “a midnight approval.’’
Also, the Civil Society Against Business Malpractices (CSABM) – maritime practitioners and watchers – had blown the whistle on the implementation of ICTN in a 14-page petition dated September 9, 2021 and signed by Aliyu Suleiman (Chairman) and James Zaki (Secretary), alerting the nation of what it called an “unfolding ill-designed plan by persons and institutions to foist a fake ICTN on the country’’, pointing out that Pres. Buhari was “misguided to granting an anticipatory approval for a direct appointment of a puppet company.’’
The insistence of Transport Minister Amaechi to give the job to FRABEMAR and others has continued to raise dusts in Nigeria as the “international mafia’’ are set to scam the country in collusion with these high and mighty public officials.