Electricity Hike: NERC Loses Bid to Suspend Court Proceedings

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Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos has struck out an application by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) seeking to stay further proceedings in the electricity tariff case. A lawyer and rights activist, Toluwani Yemi Adebiyi, had filed the action against increment in the electricity tariff approved by NERC.

The judge also barred NERC from implementing any upward review in electricity tariff pending the hearing and determination of the suit. The other ruling has to do with the dismissal of NERC’s preliminary objections to the suit.

“It is clear that the applicant has an application before the court seeking for an extension of time to compile and transmit its record at the Appeal Court.

“There is also another motion for leave to rely on the same record of appeal in this present appeal. However, there is no indication that the application has been listed on the cause list or that it had been heard or adjourned for hearing.

“In the circumstance, this court cannot grant a stay of proceedings on an incompetent appeal which is awaiting regularisation at the Appeal Court. The application lacks merit and is dismissed accordingly.”

 The court in favour of the plaintiff, awarded a cost of N10,000.

Justice Idris noted that it will be in the interest of justice if all applications challenging the contempt proceedings are heard first.

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