The Federal High Court in Lagos has been asked to revoke the concession agreement between the Federal Government and Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited on the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The suit was filed on Tuesday, by two individuals, Mr Olawale Fapohunda and Mr Richard Akinola, along with their group, Legal Resources Consortium.
The plaintiff contended that incessant accidents and destruction of lives and properties on the road “are direct consequences of Bi-Courtney’s negligence and failure to execute the contract” awarded since 2009.
In the originating summons filed by their counsel, Norrison Quakers, the lawyer set five questions for the court’s determination and sought five declarative reliefs.
Jointly sued by the plaintiffs are the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Minister of Works, Attorney-General of the Federation, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency and Bi-Courtney.
The plaintiffs contend that the court reserves the power to revoke the concession “for non-performance, occasioning gridlock and incessant destruction of lives and properties along the expressway.”
They are also seeking an order of mandatory injunction, compelling the government, the Minister of Works, and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to “immediately repair and maintain the Lagos-Ibadan expressway sequel to their obligations, legal and statutory duties so as to stem or curb the gridlock and destruction of lives and properties on the expressway.”
The 105-kilometre highway was conceded to Bi-Courtney in a public private partnership policy of late President Umaru Musau Yar’Adua, in May 2009.
The road, stretching from Lagos to Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, through Ogun state, has become a nightmare for its users as tankers loaded with petrol frequently trip on the pot-hole ridden road, causing huge carnage, claiming dozens of lives.
Since signing the agreement, Bi-Courtney has failed to construct the road which is one of the nation’s most important highway, linking the Southern region of the country to the east.
Regular obstruction of traffic is also a common feature on the narrow expressway, with several religious organisations, setting up their camps by the expressway.