Thursday, 27 March 2014
New FRSC Plate Number Illegal, Says Court
The new plate number embarked upon by the Federal Road Safety Corp, FRSC has been ruled as illegal by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Wednesday.
The judgment delivered by Justice James Tsoho ruled that it was unconstitutional for the FRSC to impose new number plates on motorists across the country.
A lawyer, Emmanuel Ofoegbu, had filed a suit challenging the powers of FRSC to issue the new number plates, impound vehicles and arrest motorists who failed to acquire the new numbers by the October 1 deadline. The
The plaintiff maintained that such action was a gross violation of the provisions of 36 (12) of the constitution which guarantees the rights of individuals.
Tsho delivering his judgement held that it was unlawful for the respondent to impose the new number plates on motorists, where there was no existing law permitting same.
According to Justice Tsho: “The issue of redesigning new number plates by the respondent is not covered under the provisions of any law in Nigeria.
“The respondent cannot force Nigerians to acquire new number plates by impounding cars, without the backing of any legislation to that effect.
“I hold that the act of the respondent amounts to an arbitrary use of power, and is therefore illegal and unconstitutional.
“Judgment is, therefore, entered in favour of the plaintiff, and all the reliefs sought are hereby granted, I so hold.”
The plaintiff had filed the suit on September 30, 2013 through a Human Rights Activists, Mr Ogedi Ogu where he averred that there was no law in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which prohibits the use of the old plate numbers, or declares its use as an offence.