‘Don’t pay in­creased elec­tric­ity tar­iff un­til court re­verses or­der’

Daily Trust - - LABOUR -

The Nige­ria Labour Con­gress (NLC) has en­joined Nige­ri­ans that the No­tice of Ap­peal filed by NERC & DIS­COs does not vi­ti­ate or in any way im­pair the va­lid­ity of the Fed­eral High Court, La­gos Divi­sion, nul­li­fi­ca­tion of the in­cre­ment in tar­iff an­nounced last De­cem­ber 21, by the Nige­rian Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (NERC).

Jus­tice Mo­hammed Idris had in the rul­ing or­dered NERC to re­vert to the former tar­iff and re­strained it from fur­ther in­creas­ing tar­iff “un­less it com­plies strictly with the rel­e­vant pro­vi­sions of the Elec­tric­ity Power Sec­tor Re­form Act (EPSRA) 2005.”

The judge de­liv­ered the judg­ment in a suit filed by hu­man rights lawyer, Mr. Toluwani Yemi Ade­biyi, who chal­lenged the in­cre­ment.

The NLC pres­i­dent, Ayuba Wabba, in a state­ment is­sued yesterday signed by Toluwani Ade­biyi Esq said that the judg­ment of the court that the in­crease in hike re­mains il­le­gal, un­til the ap­peal is heard and over­turned by the ap­pel­late court.

He said, “The court rul­ing re­mains bind­ing and in full force un­til the stay of ex­e­cu­tion filed is heard and granted by the Fed­eral High Court, which is as dif­fi­cult as a camel pass­ing through the eye of a nee­dle.”

He said, “Nige­ri­ans are re­spon­si­ble peo­ple. We all know that busi­ness is for profit mak­ing but not at the detri­men­tal ex­ploita­tion of elec­tric­ity con­sumers, me­ters must be pro­vided for all, be­fore tar­iff can be hiked. We are not say­ing NERC can­not in­crease tar­iff, and it is none of our busi­ness what ef­fect the re­ver­sal as or­dered by court will have on their cap­i­tal or in­vest­ment, what we are say­ing is that, due process as pro­vided by the en­abling Act was not fol­lowed, the con­di­tion prece­dents were breached, it is pro­ce­du­rally ul­tra­vires, they had only suc­ceeded in putting some­thing on noth­ing, and so must surely col­lapse. ‘’

He ar­gued that it was the same law the Fed­eral High Court looked into that the Court of Ap­peal will also look into, say­ing “so, tough time and unim­peach­able fail­ure await NERC and DIS­COs, the fact that the re­ver­sal will af­fect their busi­ness does not right the wrong they have com­mit­ted, their un­end­ing de­fi­ance can never right their wrongs.’’

He noted that a wise man­age­ment and govern­ment would obey court’s judg­ment, re­verse the il­le­gal in­cre­ment and take nec­es­sary law­ful steps to do the need­ful.

“Mean­while, any bill they bring re­flect­ing the il­le­gal in­cre­ment must be re­sisted. En­thron­ing jus­tice as regard this hike is our col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity, take note of names of DIS­COs of­fi­cials that come to serve such il­le­gal bills, use the en­rolled or­der and sue them and DISCO for con­tempt of court, un­til we re­sist evil poli­cies, we can­not have Nige­ria of our dream,’’ he said.

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