N114bn suit: Court stops Mastercard from issuing National Identity cards, warns 22 banks

ifeanyi ubah


Mastercard and its agents have been ordered to stop issuing the Nigeria’s National Identity card by Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos.


The ex parte, which also include an Anton Piller order, was followed a motion by Chams Plc and Chams Consortium Limited (CCL) filed on August 28, 2019.

In their statement of claim, the appellants are asking Mastercard to pay the sum of N114billion for damages.

Other defendants in the case include Ajay Banga, President & Chief Executive Mastercard international, Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Country Representative of Mastercard in Nigeria, Daniel Monehin, staff of Mastercard, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and 22 commercial banks as respondents.

The order of the court states inter alia, “An order of interim injunction restraining the defendants, whether acting by themselves or by their directors, officers, servants, agents, technical managers, or otherwise however from further manufacturing, producing, designing and or printing or authorizing the manufacturing, production, designing and or printing of any National Identity Card with Mastercard logo as described in paragraph 16 of the supporting affidavit in Exhibit CC9 pending the determination of the motion on notice filed for hearing,”

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A similar order was given to 22 respondent banks in Nigeria restraining them from honouring or giving effect to any transaction from Mastercard.

The Anton Piller order has empowered the prosecuting solicitor Kemi Pinheiro SAN of Pinheiro LP, Inspector General of Police (IG) or any senior police officer not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police to search any of their premises, take into possession and remove any document relating to the said affidavit.

They are also empowered to inspect, take pictures or arrest any body found to be contravening the orders of the court.

A breakdown of the Statement of Claim shows that N84billion is for special damages as a result of loss of expected revenue for 8 years, N10billion for general damages of fraud perpetrated jointly and severally against the claimants and N20billion for inducing the breach and termination of the Concessions awarded to the Claimants by 3rd Defendant which occurred as a result of the 1st and 2nd Defendants’ fraudulent actions.

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In 2006, Chams was invited by the Federal Government to bid for the National ID project. It competed and emerged the preferred bidder for the Nigeria National Identity Card (NIC) concession.

Before and upon the execution of a concession agreement with the NIMC, Chams Plc pursued the implementation of the NIC concession by incorporating Chams Consortium Limited (CCL), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with the sole purpose of implementing the NIC concession.

Chams Plc also invited Mastercard to work with the Chams Consortium as one of its technical partners on the NIC concession.

However, Mastercard allegedly went on to collude with others using technical information and design shared with them by Chams to frustrate the concession won by Chams and the more than US$100m Chams/CCL invested in the project.

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In an open letter published earlier in the year to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chams PLC and CCL asked Mastercard to accept wrongdoing, apologize for the breach of contract and pay compensation to CCL and Chams Plc for their more than US$100m Investment and accumulated losses.

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