A lawyer, Chief Malcom Omirhobo, has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to nullify the directive to petrol dealers not to sell the product in kegs to customers.

He said the ban is illegal and discriminatory as not all Nigerians could afford to buy vehicles or motorcycles.

Omirhobo sued the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Minister of State for Petroleum Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Inspector General (IG) of Police.

He is seeking a declaration that Kachikwu’s and NNPC’s directives to filling station owners not to sell petroleum products to Nigerians in jerry cans was discriminatory.

According to him, in January, he approached several filling stations with a gallon to purchase fuel for his generators but they refused to sell to him.

He said the filling station operators told him that they were under instruction from the respondents not to sell fuel to Nigerians in jerry cans, gallons or kegs.

Omirhobo said the refusal to sell fuel to him in his keg led him and many other Nigerians to resort to buying fuel from the black market at exorbitant prices.

He said it was ironic that the black market operators besieged filling stations with drums and gallons to purchase large volumes of fuel, which they hoarded and resold at “astronomical prices”.

Omirhobo averred that as long as power supply was yet to improve, Nigerians would continue to rely on generators, which he said would be difficult to transport to petrol stations to refill.

He, therefore, sought a declaration that the directive not to sell petrol to Nigerians in gallons, except those with vehicles, was discriminatory, inhumane and unlawful.

Justice Babs Kuewumi adjourned until January 16 for hearing.

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