Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Ikoyi Division of the Federal High Court has ordered President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to fix the prices of food and other commodities.
The judge who gave the ruling on Wednesday, sequel to an originating motion filed and argued by the applicant and human rights activist, Femi Falana, directed the federal government to fix the prices within the next seven days.
The nation has witnessed continuous increases in the prices of goods and other commodities, which are not unconnected to rising inflation, the removal of petrol subsidy, the floating of the naira, insecurity, and the closing of borders, amongst other factors.
Mr Falana, therefore, approached the court to seek “whether by virtue of Section 4 of the Price Control Act., the first defendant is carrying out its duty to impose a price on any goods that are of the kind specified in the First Schedule to the Price Control Act.”
He sought a declaration that by virtue of section 4 of the Price Control Act Cap, the defendants “are under a legal obligation to fix the prices of bicycles and spare parts, flour, matches, milk motorcycles and spare parts, motor vehicles and spare parts, salt sugar and petroleum products including diesel, petrol motor spirit and kerosene.”
Mr Falana also asked the court to make a declaration that the failure or refusal of the defendants to fix the prices of bicycles and spare parts, flour, matches, milk, motorcycles and spare parts, motor vehicles and spare parts, salt, sugar and petroleum products including diesel, petrol motor spirit and kerosene “is illegal as it offends the provision of Section 4 of the Price Control Act, Cap…., Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
Also sought was an order directing the defendants to fix the prices of bicycles and spare parts, flour, matches, milk, motorcycles and spare parts; motor vehicles and spare parts, salt, sugar and petroleum products, including diesel, petrol motor spirit and kerosene not later than seven days after the delivery of the judgment.
“I have had the applicant Femi Falana in a suit number FHC/L/CS/869/2023, and I have also discovered that despite the service of the Originating motion on the respondents, namely attorney general of the federation and the Price Control Board, no opposition to it by way of counter affidavit, which is law that all the facts deposed in the affidavit attached to the originating motion are all deemed admitted,” said the judge.
He ruled, “Consequently, all prayers that are sought for in the motion papers are hereby granted as prayed.”
Among the prices of goods and commodities that Mr Lewis-Allagoa ordered Mr Tinubu’s government to fix are 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, which include diesel, petrol and kerosene.