Lawyer Sues Buhari Over Failure To Tackle Fuel Shortage | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lawyer Sues Buhari Over Failure To Tackle Fuel Shortage

Posted: Aug 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tunde Opeseitan, Lagos

A lawyer and rights activist, Kabir Akingbolu, has filed a suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos against President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to make adequate provision for the production and supply of petroleum products to all citizens at a regulated price.

Akingbolu, in the fresh suit, which is yet to be assigned to a judge for hearing, also listed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as the second defendant.

The lawyer stressed that considering the nature and extent of inconveniences which the citizens of the country were being subjected to by lack of petroleum products, especially the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), the failure of Buhari, as the Chief Executive Officer of the country, to act by making the products sufficiently available, was capable of causing breach of peace and serious discomfort for the citizenry.

The lawyer formulated four questions for the court’s determination and argued that the failure of the president to address the scarcity was a breach of the oath of office which was administered on him on May 29, 2015 and a violation of the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 130 (1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

The plaintiff is also seeking an order declaring the failure of the defendants (Buhari and AGF) to make available petroleum products as a breach of oath of office, and that the failure to fix the refineries in the country was equally a breach of the constitutional obligation of the president.

He wants an order directing Buhari to make petroleum products available in desirable quantity across the nation, and an order mandating the president to fix and repair all the nation’s refineries to meet the demand of the entire masses.

In an affidavit in support of the suit, Akingbolu, recalled that on or about January 20, 2015, the country started experiencing fuel scarcity in every nook and cranny of all the 36 states and the federal capital, as the nation prepared then for the general elections.

He added that fuel situation then became so severe that the economic activities in Nigeria almost came to a halt, if not for the intervention of some independent marketers that decided to sell the petroleum products to the citizenry though at ridiculous prices.

After the election which Buhari won, the lawyer recalled further that the masses were delighted believing that the hardship of the scarcity of petroleum products would shortly come to an end.

But since Buhari’s swearing in on May 29, the lawyer lamented that fuel scarcity had taken a rather negative toll on the citizenry, with people having to complain bitterly on the stress and hardship they have been going through to get PMS at exorbitant prices.

“The price of PMS is now no longer at N87 per litre at most petrol stations but N110 and above in the country, creating untold hardship on the citizenry as well as the plaintiff who voted for the first defendant (Buhari).

“I know as a fact that very few petrol stations still sell at N87 per litre and it is like going to a battle field before the citizens can get petroleum products.

“I know as a fact that the refineries have deliberately been ignored and left unfixed by the past administrations in Nigeria for their selfish interest of which the current president might follow if not properly cautioned, hence the commencement of this suit.

“If the refineries are fixed and are working in perfect condition, the situation of scarcity of petroleum products would come to an end, and second, the issue of spending huge amounts in the exportation of crude oil to be refined outside the country and subsequently imported back, would come to an end,” Akingbolu stated.