Appeal Court Rules In Favour of New Number Plates

The Court of Appeal, Lagos, has ruled that the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, has the power to issue out the new number plates.

The ruling, which was delivered by Justice Shagbaor Ikegh on Friday, October 31, was made available to newsmen yesterday in Lagos.

The plaintiff, Emmanuel Ofoegbu, had filed a suit against the FRSC before a Federal High Court, Lagos. He had challenged the October 1, 2013 deadline set for motorists to change to the new number plate and the threat to impound vehicles of defaulters.

“I would allow this appeal in part; for the avoidance of doubt, this appeal only succeeds in part to the effect that regulations 2012 has legal force, and is enforceable from October 1, 2013, the administrative date set by FRSC.

“The part of the decision of the lower court declaring the regulation 2012 unconstitutional is hereby set aside,” Ikegh ruled.

Justice John Tsoho of the lower court had on March 26 described as unconstitutional, the threats by FRSC to impound vehicles of defaulters, including the applicant’s vehicle(s) over the redesigned plates.

Tsoho held that although the FRSC had statutory powers and responsibilities, it was overreaching itself by its proposed action since there was no penal law under which it could be executed.

The judge had held that the FRSC could not force upon Nigerians, a hastily conceived policy, without an enabling legal framework.

He said nothing had invalidated the old number plates, describing the plans by the FRSC as dictatorial and an arbitrary use of power contrary to the constitution.

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