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Cancellation of Abuja ICC Bookings: Is Nyesom Wike Allergic to Due Process?

DDM Editorial

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The recent cancellation of bookings at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja by the Nigerian Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has raised concerns about the adherence to due process. The ICC is a renowned event center in the heart of Nigeria’s capital city, and any event scheduled there is considered significant.

Earlier this April, 2024, Minister Wike visited the ICC and declared the center closed for renovation. In addition to this, he canceled all the existing bookings made by individuals and organizations.

The Minister said “We have gone round; you and I know that it’s unacceptable. There is no way we can accept this as an international conference centre. You can call it a conference centre but not international. So, we have decided that we can’t continue to be embarrassed in this way.
“So, we are sorry to announce this; every booking meant to be used here is cancelled as we start immediate rehabilitation of this centre to bring it to international standard”.

While the Minister emphasized the need to upgrade the center to international standards. According his statement, he did not suggest any structural deficiencies that would require immediate cancellation of all bookings.

This abrupt cancellation raises questions about the consideration given to the implications and difficulties faced by those who had already scheduled their events at the center, as well as the inconvenience caused to the invited guests. It is reasonable to expect that a more balanced approach could have been taken, such as beginning the renovation process in six months or more, allowing the existing bookings to proceed as planned.

The decision to cancel all bookings without sufficient notice raises concerns about Minister Wike’s regard for due process. As a lawyer by training and a representative of the Federal Government, it is expected that he would prioritize legal and procedural considerations. The unexpected cancellation not only disrupts the plans of those who had booked the facility but also exposes the government to potential legal actions and claims for damages.

It is important to consider the financial implications for those affected by the cancellation. Refunding the money paid for the bookings is not enough to mitigate the damages caused. The Minister’s decision puts individuals and organizations in a difficult position, and it also affects the government’s reputation and financial stability at a time when resources are already strained.

In light of these concerns, it is essential to ask: Is Minister Wike allergic to due process? The cancellation of bookings without adequate consideration for the parties involved raises doubts about the Minister’s commitment to fairness and adherence to established procedures. The government should address these concerns and ensure that future decisions prioritize the interests of all stakeholders and uphold due process.

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