Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, through its lawyer, Mr Tonbofa Ashimi, yesterday, filed an application before a Lagos Federal High Court, seeking to discharge the ex-parte order restraining NERC from implementing the new electricity tariff billed to be effective from June 1.
The court, led by Justice Mohammed, in a ruling on an ex-parte application filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Toluwani Adebiyi, had given the order.
Justice Idris had restrained the NERC and the electricity distribution companies from effecting any increment in electricity tariff pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, NERC lawyer, Mr. Ashimi, informed the court of the Commission’s application to discharge the ex-parte order, including a preliminary objection challenging the substantive suit.
He said; “My Lord, we have filed an application seeking to discharge the ex-parte order given by the court, we also filed a preliminary objection challenging the substantive suit.”
The plaintiff, Adebiyi informed the court that he needs time to respond to the said application on points of law.
Consequently, Justice Mohammed Idris, however adjourned till July 21, for hearing of all pending applications.
As at the last adjourned date on June 11, NERC were yet to employ the services of a legal representative.
Adebiyi had on that day urged the court to renew the order, so as to preserve the subject-matter of the suit.
“My Lord, everybody is affected. Even this court is running on generator. There is a need to stop NERC from increasing the electricity tariff because Nigerians can’t afford such and there is no justification for such increment,” Adebiyi had said.
Idris, had in a short ruling, held that “the ex-parte order remains valid and subsisting.”
Adebiyi, in the suit, is seeking an order restraining the NERC from implementing any upward review of electricity tariff without a meaningful and significant improvement in power supply at least for 18 hours in a day in most communities in Nigerian.
He also wants an order restraining NERC from foisting compulsory service charges on prepaid 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 the service charge on prepaid meters not to be enforced until there is visible efficient and reliable power supply like those of foreign countries where the idea of service charge was borrowed.
Adebiyi is further asking for an order of court mandating NERC to generate more power to meet the electricity use of Nigerians.
Finally, the lawyer is asking the court to mandate the NERC to make available to all Nigerians within a reasonable time of maximum of two years, prepaid meters. Adding that such exercise would be a way to stop the ‘throat-cutting indiscriminate estimated billing’, which must be devoid of arbitrary service charges.

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