The Supreme Court will on March 13, 2024, hear a suit filed in 2008, by the Attorney-General of Lagos State against the Federal Government, over who controls and regulates the gaming and lottery sector.
Ekiti State was joined as co-plaintiff in the suit following an order of the court made on October 6, 2020.
The attorneys general of 34 other states were joined as defendants by the Supreme Court on November 15, 2022, and while the Attorney General of the Federation is the 1st defendant in the matter, the National Assembly is the 2nd defendant.
The plaintiffs want the apex court to declare that the lottery is not one of the 68 items for which the National Assembly has the exclusive vires to make laws under Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
They are also seeking a declaration that the National Assembly lacks the vires to legally and constitutionally make any law to regulate and control the operation of lottery in Nigeria.
At a resumed hearing in the matter on Monday, seven-member panel of Justices of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, fixed the date.
Bode Olanipekun (SAN), announced appearance for the Lagos State Government, Adetunji Osho appeared for Ekiti state, while the Federal Government was represented by Innocent Daa’gba and Ifeanyi Mrialike represented the National Assembly.
The Attorneys General of the 33 States were duly represented and announced appearances, but, there was no legal representation for Kwara state despite being served with hearing notice.
The Supreme Court ordered Jigawa and Kaduna State Governments to put their houses in order by resolving the issue of legal representation before the next hearing date and unanimously deemed all the processes filed out of time by the defendants as duly and properly filed, having been regularized.
The application by the Attorney General of Oyo State to join as co-plaintiff having been withdrawn, was struck out by the panel.
Justice Kekere-Ekun advised that all the State Governments that are on one side, should present a common argument in order to save the time of the court on the hearing date.
Speaking to judiciary correspondents at the Supreme Court, Innocent Daagba, said he had filed processes and submissions of the Federal Government since 2020, adding that the processes have been regularized by the court, which clears the coast for hearing of the matter.