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Court reserves judgment in vehicle number plate suit


LAGOS—A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, reserved judgment in a suit against the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, over the issuance of new number plates.
Trial judge, Justice James Tsoho reserved judgment after counsel to the parties, adopted their written submissions.

The judge said that the date for judgment will be communicated to parties by hearing notices.
The plaintiff, one Ofoegbu Emma had in the suit on September 30, 2013, prayed the court to declare  that the threat by the respondents to impound vehicles of motorists, who failed to acquire the new number plates, is invalid and unconstitutional.

He argued that the old number plates were issued under the provisions of the National Road Traffic Regulations, NRTR, 2004, adding that the NRTR 2004, is a subsidiary legislation made under the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC Act, Laws of the Federation as revised in 2004.
According to him, the NRTR 2012, in Regulations 230 (2), provides that the revocation of the 2004 Regulations, shall not affect anything done, or purported to be done pursuant to that Regulation.

Ofoegbu contended that there is no law made in accordance with the 1999 Constitution as amended, which prohibits the use of the old number plates, or declares its use as an offence, adding that the threat by the respondent to impound vehicles and arrest motorists who failed to comply with the October 1 deadline, was a gross violation of the provisions of 36 (12) of the constitution, which guarantees the rights of individuals.
He wants the court to declare  as unlawful, the threat by the respondent, to arrest motorists using the old number plates because there is no law validly made in accordance with the constitution, prohibiting its use.



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