In a landmark ruling, the Federal High Court in Lagos has mandated the Federal Government to set prices for essential goods and petroleum products within a strict timeline of seven days.
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa issued the directive, specifying that the government must establish prices for a range of crucial commodities, including milk, flour, salt, sugar, bicycles and their spare parts, matches, motorcycles and their spare parts, motor vehicles and their spare parts, as well as petroleum products such as diesel, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), and kerosene.
The court’s decision came in response to a suit (No FHC/L/CS/869/2023) initiated by human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, against the Price Control Board and the Attorney-General of the Federation, citing their failure to impose prices on essential goods as required by Section 4 of the Price Control Act.
In his submission, Falana underscored the critical importance of price regulation in stabilizing the general price level, preventing hoarding, and protecting consumers from exorbitant prices.
Despite being served with the legal documents since May 2023, the defendants failed to file any response or counter to the suit.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa, after considering Falana’s arguments and observing the lack of response from the defendants, granted all the reliefs sought in the motion.
In an affidavit supporting the motion, Falana’s legal representative highlighted the dire consequences of unregulated prices, including soaring costs of essential goods like rice, which have become increasingly unaffordable for consumers.
The affidavit emphasized the urgent need for government intervention to curb price hikes and prevent sellers from exploiting buyers for excessive profits.
With this ruling, the court has taken a decisive step toward ensuring fair pricing and protecting the rights of consumers across Nigeria.