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JUSTICE MOHAMMED IDRIS

SEQUEL to hike in electricity tariff, despite a subsisting order of Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos made on May 28, 2015, a lawyer and rights activist, Toluwani Adebiyi, has initiated contempt proceedings against the Acting Chairman of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Anthony Akah, and Chief Executive Officers, CEOs, of all Distribution Companies, DISCOs, across the country.

Justice Idris had directed NERC to suspend all actions relating to any increment in electricity tariff, pending the hearing and final determination of a suit filed by the lawyer on the issue.

However, despite the subsisting court’s order, NERC, in conjunction with the DISCOs, commenced the implementation of the new tariff on February 1, 2016.

The notice of consequence of disobedience of court order has been served on the alleged contemnors and is to be heard by the court on February 11, 2016.

Adebiyi, in the substantive suit, is seeking an order restraining NERC from implementing any upward review of electricity tariff without a meaningful and significant improvement in power supply at least for 18 hours a day in most communities in Nigeria.
He also wants an order restraining NERC from foisting compulsory service charge on pre-paid meters not until “the meters are designed to read charges per second of consumption and not a flat rate of service not rendered or power not used.”
He also wants urged the court to halt the service charge on pre-paid meters until there was visible efficient and reliable power supply like those of foreign countries where the idea of service charge was borrowed.
He is also asking the court to mandate the NERC to make available to all Nigerians within a reasonable time of maximum of two years, prepaid meters as a way to stop the cut-throat indiscriminate estimated bill and which must be devoid of the arbitrary service charge, but only chargeable on power consumed.
Source : vanguard
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