The Lagos government has filed a notice of appeal against a judgment prohibiting towing of vehicles and imposition of fines by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) without a valid court order.
On September 23, Olalekan Oresanya, judge of an Ikeja high court, while giving judgment in a suit instituted by one Lawal Aliyu whose vehicle was impounded in November 2021 by LASTMA officials, held that there is no part of the Lagos State Traffic Management Law that permits the agency to deprive citizens of their right to freedom of movement.
The judge condemned LASTMA for the practice of forcefully towing vehicles of alleged traffic offenders who do not resist arrest, saying it is the height of oppression.
He held that the applicant ought to have been arraigned before a competent court before he can be penalized for any traffic offense.
The judge also ordered LASTMA to pay back the N20,000 fine and another N10,000 towing fine to the applicant.
The sum of N750,000 compensatory damages was also awarded against the respondents for the violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights.
In a statement signed by Hameed Oyenuga, director of civil ligation, Lagos ministry of justice, the state said having reviewed the judgment, it had decided to appeal.
“The State Government reviewed the judgment and dissatisfied with same, has exercised its constitutional right of appeal by filing a Notice of Appeal on the 30th day of September 2022,” the statement reads.
“An application for a Stay of Execution of the judgment has also been filed.
“Consequently, members of the public are therefore advised to be law abiding and ensure compliance with all relevant Laws of the State.”
Source: (The Cable)