Nigeria News

Court Joins Falana, Aturu in Suit to Stop Fuel Subsidy

A Federal High Court in Abuja Thursday granted the applications of two lawyers, Messrs Femi Falana (SAN) and Bamidele Aturu to join the suit seeking to compel President Goodluck Jonathan to remove the subsidy from petroleum products.
Justice Ademola Adeniyi  joined the two lawyers as fourth and fifth co-defendants as the plaintiff, Stanley Okeke and other defendants did not object to the applications to join.

The defendants are Jonathan, his Minister of Petroleum, Diezeni Allison-Madueke and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala listed as first, second and third defendants respectively.
The court therefore ordered the plaintiff (Okeke) to file and serve all the processes on all the defendants within 14 days, while the defendants should also respond within another 14 days.

The judge consequently adjourned the suit to May 22, 2013 for hearing of the originating summons.
In the applications for joinder by both Falana and Aturu, they said they would adversely  be affected by the withdrawal of subsidy regime.
According to them, their joining the suit would help to finally resolve  the issues surrounding deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry in Nigeria.
The duo also brought to the notice of the court of a subsisting judgment of another Federal High Court judge, Justice Adamu Bello, who declared that the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry was unconstitutional, illegal and void in suit no. FHC/ABJ/SC/591/2009.

Last December, Stanley Okeke had dragged the president before the Federal High Court, asking it to compel the president to remove the subsidy being paid on fuel in the country.
The suit is also seeking an order to compel Jonathan to refund to the Federation Account such sum earlier appropriated or approved under the sub-head of fuel subsidy funds or money because same cannot be justified in the face of the pervasive corruption, perennial fuel shortage and long queues being witnessed in the country.

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