By Onozure Dania
The Federal High Court in Lagos has restrained Lagos and Ogun State governments from disrupting the business of lottery companies for allegedly operating without their licence.
Justice Mohammed Idris held that it would be illegal to shut down lottery business on the basis that they have not obtained additional licences to operate.
The plaintiffs, Western Lotto Nigeria Ltd and Wesco Pools & Lottery Ltd, had prayed the court to determine whether in view of subsisting and binding judgments of the court, the defendants can close down their businesses for not obtaining licences from the states despite having been granted nationwide permits/licences by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission.
They sued the attorneys-general of Lagos and Ogun states; the Lagos State Lottery Board, the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service, Inspector- General of Police, commissioners of Police in Lagos and Ogun, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Department of State Services, DSS.
In his judgment, Justice Idris dismissed the defendants’ objections and granted the two prayers in the plaintiffs’ originating summons.
He made “a declaration that the defendants or any combination of them may not take any steps whatsoever whether by closure, arrests, detentions, sealing off, or howsoever designed to disrupt, close down or otherwise impede the lottery business of the plaintiffs.”