Lagos Appeals Ruling On LASTMA’s Powers To Arrest, Impound Vehicles
The Lagos State Government has filed a notice of appeal before the court, challenging the judgment that stopped its Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) from towing and imposing fines on motorists found to have contravened the law, without obtaining a valid court order.
In the suit, the state government said the judgment delivered by a High Court sitting in Ikeja would affect the excesses of motorists in the metropolis……..Continue Reading
Dissatisfied with the ruling after a review, the government noted that it had exercised its constitutional right of appeal by filing a Notice of Appeal before the court. The state government announced its plans to appeal the judgment delivered by Justice Olalekan Oresanya on Wednesday through a statement by the Director of Civil Ligation, Ministry of Justice, Hameed Oyenuga. It noted that the application is seeking a stay of execution of the judgment pending the determination of appeal brought before it last month.
Meanwhile, the state government has appealed to vehicle owners not to contravene the law while driving on Lagos roads. According to the government, the notice of appeal, filed on Sept. 30, contains four grounds against the judgment of the lower court.
The judge had held that LASTMA could not impose fines and tow vehicles of suspected traffic offenders without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Also, Oresanya awarded N750,000 damages against Lagos State Government for violating the fundamental rights of a lawyer, Lawal Aliyu, whose vehicle was impounded and towed by LASTMA officers without a valid court order.
The Lagos State Government, LASTMA, and office of the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice were listed as respondents in the suit. Aliyu had challenged the imposition of N20, 000 fine on him by LASTMA for an alleged traffic offence, and the imposition of N10,000 towing fine, which he was forced to pay by the traffic management agency.
Oresanya held that public authorities and bodies could not act in a manner inconsistent and incompatible with the fundamental rights of citizens as guaranteed by Nigeria’s constitution.