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Lawyer sues Buhari over fuel scarcity in Nigeria

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A Lagos-based lawyer, Festus Ogun, on Monday filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal High Court, Lagos, over the fuel scarcity recorded in the country earlier this year.

In the suit, titled FHC/L/CS/743/22, Ogun asked the court to prevent Buhari from functioning as Minister of Petroleum Resources or holding any other executive post in any form, claiming that the President would be ineffective in the position.

He said there was an unprecedented nationwide fuel scarcity in February that lasted about one month, leaving Nigerians in pain, hardship, and agony.

The lawyer added that the hardship equally affected the smooth running of businesses in Nigeria.

Nigeria witnessed a persistent fuel scarcity in February, the first time in about four years, after regulators in the oil and gas industry discovered off-spec petroleum products in circulation.

“I have just filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal High Court in Lagos over the excessive pain, hardship, and agony Nigerians went through as a result of the fuel scarcity experienced earlier this year.

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“I solemnly believe that the gross inefficiency and mismanagement in the Petroleum Sector, that led to the fuel scarcity, is avoidable if the President was not holding the dual position of Petroleum Minister in violation of Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution.

“I believe that the President’s continuous serving as Petroleum Minister is not only illegal and unconstitutional, it is inimical to our economic growth and likely to occasion future scarcity and inefficiency that will affect the country and its good people.

“I make bold to say that it is practically and legally impossible for the President to hold his elected position, which comes with enormous responsibilities, contemporaneously with the position of Petroleum Minister. It has no basis in law, logic, and politics.

“If Nigerians suffered that heavily during the fuel scarcity, the President must be answerable for it. There must be consequences. And as a citizen of this country, I believe we must avert a reoccurrence; whether under this regime or in future administrations,” Ogun said in the suit.

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