A civil right lawyer practicing in Benin has slammed the Edo Staff Traffic Control and Management Agency(EDSTMA) with a law suit, demanding for Five Million Naira damages for illegally towing his Honda CR-V and compelling him to part away with Fifteen Thousand Naira fine.
The case was filed by F. C. Asiazobor, ESQ at the Federal High Court in Benin on the 16th day of November, 2018; on behalf of the Applicant who is also a legal practitioner, Darlington Enereba.
The suit is also seeking an Order or Court to declare that Edo Staff Traffic Control & Management Agency (EDSTMA) has no legal right in law to impose fine on motorists.
The suits seems to argue that fines are also imposed after a trial in law hence the arbitrary habit of imposing fines on road users by the officers of the agency is illegal and unknown to law. “It amounts to a rape of the judicial process as same seems to be an attempt to rob the judicial powers vested on our courts by section 6 of the Constitution”, F. C. Asiazobor said.
By the suit, the lawyers appear to raise the argument that, in line with the Federal Highways Act, 2004, the EDSTMA cannot operate on Trunk A Federal Highways in Nigeria.
Should the Applicant’s prayers be granted by the Federal High Court, road users in Edo State can go about their daily routines without having to face officials trying to extort them daily in the guise of carrying out their official assignments.
“It has become a ritual for officials of EDSTMA and the Road Safety to daily harass and extort huge amounts of money from road users despite the epileptic condition of the road networks in Edo State.
Isn’t it worrisome that a Road Safety Officer demands to see “road worthiness certificate” for a vehicle that is plying a road not worthy for the vehicle to drive on? Why should officers apprehend persons suspected to break the law and still impose fines on such suspects without any form of trial? Does that act not go against fair hearing? Why be a judge in your own course?
I believe this landmark law suit will bring legal answers to these troubling questions” he added while speaking to dockaysworld.
Stay tuned for updates on this trend.