Lagos State Government has filed a notice of appeal against a judgment stopping towing of vehicles and imposition of fines by Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) without a valid court order.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the government made this known in a press release on Wednesday.
The press release was signed by the Director of Civil Ligation, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mr Hameed Oyenuga.
The notice of appeal, filed on Sept. 30, contains four grounds against the judgment of Justice Olalekan Oresanya delivered on Sept. 22.
The judge had held that LASTMA could not impose fines and tow vehicles of suspected traffic offenders without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
Lagos State said it had reviewed the judgment and was dissatisfied with it, adding that it had exercised its constitutional right of appeal by filing the notice of appeal.
The state government urged members of the public to be law-abiding.
NAN reports that, in the judgment, Oresanya of an Ikeja High Court awarded N750,000 damages against Lagos State Government for violating a fundamental right of a lawyer, Mr Lawal Aliyu, who LASTMA officers towed his vehicle and imposed fines on, without a valid court order.
LASTMA, Lagos State Government and the state’s attorney-general were respondents in the suit.
Oresanya held that it was unconstitutional for LASTMA to impose fines and tow vehicles of suspected traffic offenders without a valid court order.
Aliyu had challenged imposition of N20,000 fine on him by LASTMA for an alleged traffic offence, and imposition of N10,000 towage fine, which he was forced to pay by the traffic management agency.
Oresanya held that public authorities and bodies could not act in a manner inconsistent and incompatible with the fundamental rights of citizens as guaranteed by Nigeria’s constitution. (Guardian)