A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted leave to two Lagos-based lawyers, Femi Falana and Bamidele Aturu to be joined as co-defandants in a suit filed by a former governorship aspirant in Anambra state, Stanley Okeke seeking an order of the court to compel the federal government to remove fuel subsidy.
Ruling on the motion for joinder, Justice Adeniyi Ademola allowed the duo to be joined as fourth and fifth defendants while President Goodluck Jonathan remains the first defendant.
Other defendants are the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke and the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
In the applications for joinder by both Messrs Falana and Aturu, the duo expressed how adversely they will be affected by the withdrawal of fuel subsidy.
Mr Okeke, who is the National Coordinator of Citizens Club, had in December 2012 dragged President Jonathan to a Federal High Court seeking for an order compelling the president to stop fuel subsidy and refund to the federation account such sum earlier appropriated and or approved under the sub-head of fuel subsidy funds because same cannot be justified in the face of the pervasive corruption, perennial fuel shortage and long queues being witnessed in some part of the country.
The plaintiff also asked the court for an order directing the 3rd defendant (Ms Okonjo-Iweala) to stop further payment of fuel subsidy money predicated on the corrupt, illegal and unlawful fuel subsidy regime.
He also wants the court to declare that the fuel subsidy currently being funded by the federal government was a waste of public funds and therefore unlawful and illegal to sustain same.
The judge consequently adjourned the suit to May 22, 2013 for hearing of the originating summons.