JUSTICE Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Monday, fixed July 7 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by a lawyer, Toluwabumi Adebiyi against the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) on issues bordering on the proposed increase of electricity tariff.
Adebiyi, in the substantive suit, is seeking an order restraining 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 Nigeria.
He also wants an order restraining NERC from foisting compulsory service charge on pre-paid 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 pre-paid 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 the NERC to do the needful and generate more power to meet the electricity use of Nigerians, adding that the needful should include and not limited to a multiple long-term financing approach, sourced from the banks, capital market, insurance and other sectors of finance to power the sector.
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 as a way to stop the throat-cutting indiscriminate estimated bill, and which must be devoid of the arbitrary service charge, but only chargeable on power consumed.
Hearing of the appeal was subsequently adjourned till November 22.
In a related development, the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has fixed November 22 to hear an appeal filed by NERC.
At yesterday’s proceedings, at the Appeal Court, the Presiding judge, Justice Amina Augie, noted that record of NERC’s appeal has not been properly entered because there were irregularities in its numbering.
“There is no appeal before this court and record has not been entered. NERC is hereby directed to go and sort out the irregularities noted in the appeal numbers,” she said.