Buhari’s Action, Tantamount To Executive Recklessness – Court Rules


14 Jul 2016

Buhari’s Action, Tantamount To Executive Recklessness – Court Rules

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Sequel to President Muhammadu Buhari’s consistent disobedient to court orders, a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, ‎July 13, berated the Federal Government for going ahead to enforce the 45 percent hike in electricity tariff, despite a court injunctions on the case.

The development is coming barely 24 hours, the National Electricity Regulation Commission, NERC, was alleged to have proposed a 100 percent hike in electricity tarriff, due to the effect of devaluation occasioned by the implementation of the Flexible Foriegn Exchange policy by the apex bank.

Although, NERC in a statement on Tuesday denied the proposed hike, describing the publication as false.

However, on Wednesday, Justice Ibrahim Idris,‎ of the Federal High Court in Lagos, while delivering his judgement declared the hike in electricity tariff as illegal and total disregard to the rule of law.

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He, however, ordered the immediate reversal of the policy, restraining NERC from further increasing the tariff except in strict compliance to the provisions of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2004, EPSRA.

He said, “The upward increment in tariff was hasty and procedurally ultra vires.

“The review was done in a breach of existing order. This again was hasty, reckless and irresponsible.

“The court has the inherent jurisdiction to undo what has been done by a party in self-help,”‎ Justice Idris said.

‎It could be recalled that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had consistently backed NERC’s resolution in enforcing the 45 percent hike, insisting that it was the way forward to achieving an un interrupted power supply in the country.

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With many Nigerians applauding Justice Idris judgement, as they have been paying for darkness for months, Post-Nigeria, gathered that the decision is coming at a time the House of Representative, had urged the federal government to halt any planned hike in electricity tariff in the country.

The court’s judgement, explicitly stated that it was illegal for the increment to be enforced while parties were before the court.

It could be recalled that a lawyer and activist, Toluwani Adebiyi, had filed a suit seeking an order restraining the Nigerian government from implementing any upward review of electricity tariff without a marked improvement in power supply across the country.

Justice Idris said, “The 1st defendant is hereby directed to reverse to status quo.

“The 1st defendant is further restrained from increasing the electricity tariff except in strict compliance of the provisions EPSRA and the procedures stipulated in section 76 of the EPSRA.

“N50,000 cost is awarded against the defendants in favour of the plaintiff. That is the judgment of the court,” Justice Idris declared.

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Earlier on, the judge had said the 1st defendant was aware of the interim injunction of this court and still went ahead to ignore the directive and increase the tariff.

“There is no doubt that there is an appeal against the order of this Court.

“But the order of this Court has not been set aside and so remain valid and binding on all the parties.

“The law is that anybody to whom the order of court of competent jurisdiction is made must obey it, no matter how highly placed until it is discharged or set aside in appeal.

“The increment in tariff done by the 1st defendant with effect from 1st of July 2015 is an act done in breach of the status quo order.

“The action of the 1st defendant is therefore hasty, reckless and irresponsible.

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“This country is in a democracy where the rule of law prevails over impunity or whimsical desires. Anything to the contrary is an invitation to anarchy.

“It is the law that what is done officially, must be done according to the Law.”

The judge further warned the Executive arm of government to stop disobeying the court’s order.

He added, “It is intolerable and extremely dangerous for any branch of the executive to embark on actions indicating that it may choose not to obey the orders of the courts.

“That is tantamount to executive recklessness which may lead to lawlessness.

“Let me warn that no matter how high or low you may be, the law stands above you.

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“Lawlessness, arbitrariness and executive recklessness in exercise of powers confer by law will never be condoned,”‎ Justcie Idris reiterated.

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News Source: Post-Nigeria, 9jaTales

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