The constitutionality or otherwise of who should undertake waste disposal within the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) will be heard on December 1, 2021, by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The case has been the subject of legal debate as the applicants and defendants seek juristic interpretation at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1585/2020.
A non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy (CFRPA) had in 2020 taken out an originating summons against AMAC and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on the issue.
CFRPA accused AMAC of connivance with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) by relinquishing its constitutional responsibility of undertaking waste disposal in the nation’s capital to the FCTA.
It queried the involvement of the BPP in the process by its issuance of “Certificate of No Objection” to the FCTA, a process CFRPA styled an illegality and a fundamental breach of the express provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, contrary to the tenets of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in guaranteeing local government autonomy.
When the suit came up for hearing on September 28, 2021, the FCT minister who had, by motion sought an order of court joining him to the suit was served the counter affidavit of the plaintiffs in opposition to his application.
Consequently, the court adjourned the suit to December 1, 2021. Expectedly, on or before the said date, the minister would, if he deems fit, cause a reply to the counter affidavit of the plaintiffs so that court would fix a date for the ruling on the propriety or otherwise of joining the minister to the said suit.
Recall that, the plaintiffs had among other reliefs sought a declaration of court that, by virtue of relevant constitutional provisions, the disposal of refuse and the receipt of payment for same are the constitutional duties of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and a further declaration that the BPP lacks the powers to engage in procurement exercise for award of contracts for waste disposal to any company.
The plaintiffs had also sought an order of court restraining the BPP from further participating in the said exercise.