Federal High Court Orders Government to Fix Prices of Essential Goods and Petroleum Products

The Federal High Court in Lagos has issued a directive to the Federal Government, mandating it to set the prices of essential goods and petroleum products within seven days. This order came from Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa in response to a suit filed by human rights activist Mr. Femi Falana against the Price Control Board and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

In the suit, Falana sought the court’s declaration on the failure of the government to fix prices for various items listed in the Price Control Act, including milk, flour, salt, sugar, bicycles and spare parts, matches, motorcycles and spare parts, motor vehicles and spare parts, as well as petroleum products such as diesel, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), and kerosene.

During the hearing, Falana informed the court that the defendants had been served with the necessary processes since May 2023 but failed to respond. With no counter from the respondents, Justice Lewis-Allagoa granted all reliefs sought by Falana, emphasizing the defendants’ failure to file a response.

In an affidavit supporting the motion, Falana highlighted the responsibility of the Price Control Board, established by the Price Control Act, to stabilize prices, prevent hoarding, and protect customers from exorbitant prices. He noted the alarming rise in prices of essential goods, citing examples like rice, which soared from N8,000 to N45,000 per bag.

The affidavit also expressed concerns about the burden placed on consumers due to unchecked price increases and the lack of enforcement of price regulations on petroleum products.

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