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Fuel scarcity: Falana faults DSS 48-hour ultimatum




Human rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, has faulted the 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Department of State Services (DSS) to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and oil marketers to end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.

The DSS had on December 8, through its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, vowed to go after stakeholders in the oil sector if the fuel queues did not disappear after 48 hours.

However, Falana faulted the ultimatum in an interview on Channels Television on Friday, December 9.


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Falana stressed that NNPC is charged with the constitutional responsibility of supplying petroleum products to all parts Nigeria but the organization has failed to deliver.

“The business of supplying fuel to all parts of the country is the duty of the NNPC and if the NNPC is failing. The government has the responsibility to call them to order and relieve them of their duties,” he said.

“As you know, every year, at the end of the year – once it is Christmas – there must be an artificial scarcity of fuel. The ultimatum will not work because there is no sanction for impunity in Nigeria.

“We must run this country in line with the provisions of the law if the police cannot maintain adequate security, the president is empowered to bring the military.

“This agency is a secret agency- if there is a problem they should submit a report to the President, we cannot have a country where everybody does what he likes.”

The lawyer noted that it is not the responsibility of the DSS to stop fuel scarcity.

“The DSS goes around arresting people. It is not the constitutional responsibility of the organization because it is not listed in the terrorism prevention act,” he added.

Falana emphasized that the continuous presence of long queues at filling stations could lead to “serious security problems and sabotage the nation’s economy”.

He, however, charged the DSS to conduct thorough investigations against perpetrators of fuel scarcity and prosecute them.

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Stories with punches holding the powerful accountable. His determination to speak out against corruption and influence the conversation in Nigeria, the surrounding region and the continent inspires him.

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