The Lagos-Itire/Ijesha community of Surulere area of Lagos State on Monday argued in defence of its suit filed against EKO Electricity Distribution Company, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for arbitrary electricity charges.
When the matter scheduled for adoption of written addresses was called, counsel to the first defendant, A. A. Francis raised preliminary objections, urging the court to strike out the application against the defendant after adopting her written address and sworn affidavit in support of his arguments.
Also, counsel to the 2nd defendant (NERC), Michael Abiiba and the 3rd defendant’s counsel, Chinyere Ibenene again asked the court to strike out the entire suit or alternatively strike out their names for not disclosing a
reasonable cause of action against them, for not been proper parties.
The third defendant (AGF) argued that the suit can be completely determined without him as a party.
Responding to the objections, Barr Marcus Eyarhono held that the 1st
defendant- Eko Electricity Distribution Company is established pursuant to the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, Cap. E7 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and is therefore answerable in the suit on all the claims as such, the cause of action bothers on its operations and services to the plaintiffs.
He opposed the claims of the second defendant (NERC) that it is an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria charged with the responsibility of regulating the operations of the 1st defendant and can as well be validly sued as a proper party in the suit.
On the submissions of the third defendant, Oyarhono argued that AGF is the chief law officer of the Federal Government of Nigeria and principal officer of NERC.
As stated by him, the plaintiff’s suit bothers partly on the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, an Act of the National Assembly, thereby making him a proper party sufficient to be sued. He maintained that it is erroneous to say that the AGF cannot be a party to the suit, citing the case of Green Vs Green where the Supreme Court classified parties to proper, desirable and necessary parties.
Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos adjourned the matter to May 21, 2016 for ruling.
The applicants are asking the court for an order of injunction restraining the 1st defendant from further negligence in computing the electricity bills of the plaintiffs.
They also want the court to halt the first defendant from disconnecting the plaintiffs from electric power supply within the period it would comply with the orders of the court as stated in the plaintiffs’ relief.
Again, the plaintiffs wants the court to order the defendants to stop from rendering to them any service whatsoever, in breach of the provisions of the Electric Power sSector Reform Act.