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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Court rejects LASTMA’s plea for stay of execution

A cross-section of LASTMA officer  
                                  cross-section of LASTMA officer File

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday refused to stay the execution of its earlier judgment in which it declared that  the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority lacked the power to impose fines on traffic offenders.
Justice Okon Abang, in a ruling, also encouraged members of the public to approach the court for the enforcement of the judgement if they were harrassed by the operatives of the agency for the purpose  of collecting fines.
Abang  had earlier in a judgement declared some provisions  of the Establishment Act of LASTMA as unconstitutional, null and void.

He declared that LASTMA lacked the power to impose fine on traffic offenders in Lagos, saying that such act amounted to the agency serving as the judge in its case.
The provisions of the LASTMA Act which the judge declared as inconsistent with Nigeria’s constitution were contained in Sections 9, 11, 12 and 13 of the Act.
The judge said those sections of the Act were contrary to Section 36 of the Constitution which guaranteed the right of fair hearing to Nigerians.
He also awarded the sum of N500,000 against LASTMA.
Following the judgement, the respondent, dissatisfied, had filed an appeal against the judgement, and asked the lower court to stay execution of the judgment while its appeal was pending.
But Abang, in his ruling, dismissed the appeal, saying it lacked merit.
He told the court that he was driving his car on the Third Mainland Bridge, in March 2010, when the vehicle suddenly developed some mechanical fault.
He said further that he immediately  called for a towing van to take the vehicle of the road to where it would not obstruct traffic flow.

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