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Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala dragged to court over fuel subsidy

By The Citizen
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A politician from Anambra State, has dragged President Goodluck Jonathan before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, seeking the order of the court to compel the President to remove forthwith the subsidy being paid on fuel in the country.

Chief Stanley Okeke was a former governorship candidate in the 2007 elections in Anambra State, he filed the suit  through his counsel, M.A Ebute and U.B. Eyo.

Okeke  is also seeking an order compelling President Jonathan to refund to the Federation Account such sum earlier appropriated and/or approved under the sub-head of fuel subsidy funds or money as, according to him, same cannot be justified in the face of the pervasive corruption, perennial fuel shortage and long queues witnessed in petrol stations.

Also joined in the suit as second and third defendants are the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The plaintiff is also asking the court for an order directing the third defendant to stop further payment of fuel subsidy money predicated on the corrupt, illegal and unlawful fuel subsidy regime.

Okeke is again asking the court to declare that the fuel subsidy currently being funded by the Federal Government is a waste of public funds and, therefore, unlawful and illegal.

He also prayed the court for a declaration that the pervasive corruption inherent in the fuel subsidy scheme had caused untold hardship to the masses of the country and, therefore,  is an abuse of the rights of Nigerians as guaranteed by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He also wants the court to declare that the fuel subsidy scheme, having failed to achieve the purpose for which it was meant, should be outrightly abolished as same had violated the Nigerian people's rights as guaranteed by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The plaintiff also wants a declaration that the failure of the second and third defendants in their ministerial duties to ensure a corrupt-free subsidy regime is a breach of public trust and a violation of their oaths of office as contained in the seventh schedule to the 1999 Constitution.

Okeke also asked the court to determine whether in view of the official corruption and abuse of office inherent in the fuel subsidy regime as evidenced by the ongoing trial of certain individuals in the Federal High Court in Lagos, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is competent to order the removal and/or abolition of the fuel subsidy scheme.

The plaintiff in a 27 paragraphed affidavit he deposed to in support of the originating summons averred that Nigeria under the leadership of President Jonathan now imports fuel from various oil producing nations for local consumption by Nigerians and that the importation is highly subsidised by the Federal Government.

Okeke stated that the only way to stop the high level of abuse of the fuel subsidy scheme is the removal of the policy by the Federal Government.

He further averred that recently in December 2012 the President 1st defendant submitted a supplementary budget of over N161,000,000,000 to the National Assembly for the payment of additional fuel subsidy money to the fuel importers and marketers.