The Court of Appeal on Tuesday 16 January 2018 dismissed the appeal lodged by the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) against the Nigerian Shippers' Council.
The Court affirmed the judgement of the Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court that declared the Terminal Operators case academic and hypothetical. It also declared illegal the arbitrary increase of Progressive Storage on containerized cargo by the operators.
The Seaport Terminal Operators commenced an action at the Federal High Court Lagos before Justice Ibrahim Buba to challenge the powers of the NSC to order them to stop collection of illegal charges and reduction of the free storage period.
Honourable Justice Ibrahim Buba had dismissed the case, and declared the arbitral charges illegal and ordered the seaport Terminal Operators to account and refund all monies illegally collected from shippers and pay same to the Cargo Defend Fund of NSC for use in defence and protection of Nigerian shippers.
Recall that pursuant to the appointment of the Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC) as the Economic Regulator of the ports in Nigeria, NSC directed the Seaport Terminal Operators to stop the collection of all arbitral storage charges particularly the illegall increase of Progressive Storage Charges on containerized cargo and increase the free storage period from three days to seven days.