Court grants application seeking price regulation of basic goods sold in Nigeria

In a landmark judgment against laissez-faire business practice, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an application seeking price control of goods in Nigeria within seven days.

Justice Lewis- Allagoa granted the order following an originating motion by human rights activist, Chief Femi Falana, SAN.

On Jan. 24, the court had adjourned the case until Feb. 7 following the absence of the counsel for the respondents.

Falana filed the suit against the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the Price Control Board, seeking a declaration that by virtue of the Price Control Act, the respondent was under a duty to fix the prices of goods.

The applicant had also urged the court to decide whether by virtue of Section 4 of the Price Control Act, the first defendant is carrying out its duty to impose a price on any goods of the kind specified in the First Schedule to the Price Control Act.

On Wednesday, the court held that having heard the applicant’s suit and since there was no counter-affidavit from the respondents, the prayers of the applicant were granted.

The court ordered the respondent to fix the prices of milk, flour, salt, sugar, bicycles and their spare parts, matches, motorcycles and their spare parts, motor vehicles and their spare parts.

The court also ordered the respondent to fix the price of petroleum products, especially diesel, petrol and kerosene.

“I have heard the applicant Femi Falana in the suit no SAN, FHC/L/CS/869/2023, and I have also discovered that despite the service of the originating motion on the respondents, namely Attorney-General of the Federation and the Price Control Board, there was no opposition to it by way of counter-affidavit”, he said.

The judge held that all the facts deposed in the affidavit attached to the originating motion were therefore deemed admitted.

“All prayers sought for in the motion papers are hereby granted as prayed”, he held.

Falana had sought a declaration that the failure or refusal of the respondents to fix the prices of the goods listed was illegal and offends the provisions of Section 4 of the Price Control Act Law of the Federation 2004.

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