24th May, 2012
Justice Stephen Adah of Federal High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, has adjourned ruling on the fuel subsidy suit instituted by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) against the Federal Government of Nigeria till 30 May , 2012.
Justice Adah adjourned the matter which was stood down for ruling having arrived late to preside over the case.
After the nationwide strike and protest against the removal of fuel subsidy in January 2012, SNG and its allies had instituted a legal action against the Federal Government for what was termed illegal deduction of N2.5 trillion for subsidy payments from the Consolidated Revenue Fund instead of the N245 billion approved in the 2011 Appropriation Act by the National Assembly.
The plaintiff in its originating summon is asking the federal high court to determine whether, ‘‘Having regard to the provisions of Sections 80(2) (3) & 81(1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any other person acting on his instructions can lawfully withdraw and expend monies from the Consolidation Revenue Fund or any other public funds of the Federation without authorisation by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or any Act of the National Assembly.’’
SNG is also seeking to know whether the act of the 1st Defendant in withdrawing and/or directing the withdrawal of the unappropriated sum of N2.5 trillion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, instead of the sum of N245 billion authorised by the Appropriation Act 2011 to meet petroleum subsidy payments for the 2011 financial year, when the alleged expenditure of the said N2.5 trillion is neither charged upon that Consolidated Revenue Fund nor authorised by the Appropriation Act 2011, Supplementary Appropriation Act 2011 or an Act passed in pursuance of Section 81 of the Constitution; is not unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.