Court Orders FG to Fix Prices of Goods, Petroleum Products Within 7 Days
Federal High Court Orders Swift Fixing of Prices for Goods and Petroleum Products.
A landmark ruling by the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos has directed the federal government to promptly establish price regulations for goods and petroleum products within a seven-day period.
Justice Ambose Lewis-Allagoa issued the directive on Wednesday, February 7, as part of his judgment in a lawsuit (No FHC/L/CS/869/2023) initiated and argued by renowned human rights advocate, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, against the Price Control Board and the Attorney-General of the Federation, identified as the first and second defendants, respectively.
Falana’s Objectives: Mr. Falana sought the following from the court:
- Clarification on whether the Price Control Board, as per Section 4 of the Price Control Act, is fulfilling its mandate to establish prices for specified goods outlined in the First Schedule to the Act.
- Declaration that, as per Section 4 of the Price Control Act, the defendants are legally obligated to set prices for various goods, including bicycles and spare parts, flour, matches, milk, motorcycles and spare parts, motor vehicles and spare parts, salt, sugar, and petroleum products such as diesel, petrol motor spirit, and kerosene.
- Declaration that the failure or refusal of the defendants to establish prices for the listed goods and petroleum products is unlawful and contravenes Section 4 of the Price Control Act.
- A court order instructing the defendants to establish prices for the specified goods and petroleum products within seven days of the court’s judgment.
Court’s Decision: Justice Lewis-Allagoa, having considered Falana’s arguments, noted the absence of any counter submissions from the respondents.
Relying on legal precedents, the judge ruled that “all the reliefs contained in the motion paper are hereby granted as prayed.”
He further emphasized:
“After reviewing the applicant Femi Falana’s case in suit no San,FHC/L/CS/869/2023 and observing that despite the service of the Originating motion on the respondents, namely Attorney-General of the Federation and the Price Control Board, no opposition by way of counter affidavit has been filed, it is established by law that all facts deposed in the affidavit attached to the originating motion are deemed admitted. “Consequently, all prayers sought in the motion papers are hereby granted as prayed.”
The judge specifically mandated the Nigerian government to establish prices for milk, flour, salt, sugar, bicycles and their spare parts, matches, motorcycles and their spare parts, motor vehicles and their spare parts, as well as petroleum products, including diesel, petrol motor spirit (PMS), and kerosene