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Lawyer asks court to charge NERC, DISCOs for contempt



in from Ali Smart . . .

A human rights lawyer, Bar. Toluwani Yemi-Adebiyi, on Friday, approached the Federal High Court to charge the management of the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) and the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for contempt of court.

Justifying the need for the court action against the plaintiffs, Yemi-Adebiyi said the legal implication of NERC and DISCO defiance is contemptuous of the court.

Expatiating, he said: “The power sector has illogically taken the bull by the horn by contemptuously increasing the electricity tariff, in spite of a subsisting order of Court not to bring any Increment until the substantive suit is determined.”

He also recalled that the increase was in spite of the legislative chambers insistence that such decision should be suspended until the probe of their unfair trade practices is concluded.

Raising a poser, he queried, “Is the power sector efficient? Rising and falling, dwindling and hovering around 4,000MW in spite of $20billion invested in the past 10yrs, with consumers paying for darkness and gross darkness, yet not getting value for what they are paying for.”

Besides, he said, “Profit making by the private investors should not be at the exploitative detriment of the already exploited consumers.”

The activist lawyer, who said the plaintiffs were guilty as charged, said “Form 48, Notice of Disobedience of Court Order had been filed. Filing of Form 49 in conjunction with Order 35 of the Federal High Court will follow thereafter,” he said.

It may be recalled that Yemi-Adebiyi, who had taken the NERC to court, got an order by the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop it from further increasing its tariff, said the injunction granted by Justice Ibrahim Idris against any increment was subsisting and had not been discharged.

Justice Idris made the order on May 28, restraining NERC from increasing tariff in June. The judge later restated the order, saying it subsists until the substantive matter is decided.

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