Mastercard and its agents have been ordered to stop the production of the national identity cards issued by National Identity Management Commission by Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
This order was made following an ex parte motion filed by Chams Plc and Chams Consortium Limited on August 28, 2019.
The ex parte, which also included an Anton Pillar order, was issued on November 7, 2019. In their statement of claim, Chams Plc and CCL asked Mastercard to pay the sum of N114bn for damages.
Other defendants in the case are President and Chief Executive, Mastercard International, Ajay Banga; Country Representative of Mastercard in Nigeria, Omokehinde Ojomuyide; a member of staff of Mastercard, Daniel Monehin; the 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 authorising 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.”
A similar order was given to 22 respondent banks in Nigeria restraining them from honouring or giving effect to any transaction from Mastercard.
A breakdown of the statement of claim showed that N84bn was for special damages as a result of loss of expected revenue for eight years; N10bn for general damages of fraud perpetrated jointly and severally against the claimants; and N20bn for inducing the breach and termination of the concessions awarded to the claimants by the NIMC, which occurred as a result of the Mastercards’ alleged fraudulent actions.
It will be recalled that in 2006, Chams was invited by the Federal Government to bid for the National ID project for which it competed and emerged the preferred bidder for the national ID concession.
Upon the execution of the concession agreement with the NIMC, Chams said it pursued the implementation of the concession by incorporating Chams Consortium Limited, a special purpose vehicle with the sole aim of implementing the NIC concession.
Chams said it also invited Mastercard to work with the Chams Consortium as one of its technical partners on the concession.
Mastercard was accused of colluding with others using technical information and design shared with them by Chams to frustrate the concession won by Chams and more than $100m Chams/CCL invested in the project.
In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and published earlier in the year, Chams and CCL asked MasterCard to accept its wrongdoing, apologise for the breach of contract and pay compensation to CCL and Chams for their more than $100m investment and accumulated losses.