In a landmark ruling, Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Lagos has mandated the federal government to regulate the prices of goods and petroleum products across Nigeria within a strict seven-day timeline starting from Wednesday.
The directive came during the judgment of a case brought before the court by prominent human rights advocate, Femi Falana (SAN), against the Price Control Board and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). Falana sought to compel the government to address the soaring costs of goods and services in the nation by enforcing pricing regulations.
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Reports from Arabella Star Magazine highlight widespread public unrest in several cities due to the escalating cost of living coupled with the government’s perceived failure to address the crisis effectively.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa’s ruling specifically instructs the government to regulate the prices of essential commodities such as milk, flour, salt, sugar, bicycles and their components, matches, motorcycles and their parts, motor vehicles and their spare parts, as well as petroleum products including diesel, petrol, and kerosene.
Granting all the reliefs sought by Falana, the court emphasized the government’s obligation under Section 4 of the Price Control Act to establish and enforce price controls on designated goods.
Falana’s plea centered on the legal obligation of the Price Control Board to determine the prices of specified goods outlined in the First Schedule of the Price Control Act. He argued that the government’s inaction in fixing prices of crucial commodities violated the provisions of the law.
The court concurred with Falana’s assertions, emphasizing the government’s failure to respond to the lawsuit despite being duly served. Consequently, Justice Lewis-Allagoa affirmed the legality of Falana’s claims and ordered the government to comply with the regulations outlined in the Price Control Act.
The ruling underscored the judiciary’s commitment to upholding legal standards and ensuring accountability in governance. In supporting affidavits, Falana’s legal team outlined the statutory responsibilities of the Price Control Board in maintaining price stability and safeguarding consumer interests.
As the nation awaits the government’s response, the court’s decision marks a significant step towards addressing the economic challenges faced by ordinary Nigerians and promoting fair market practices.