By Onozure Dania
Lagos—A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday set aside May 6, for the judgment of a suit filed by human rights activist and lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), against the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
Falana had urged the court to order the removal of all obstructions on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, including deadly trailers and tankers, and to repair it.
He is also seeking a declaration that “the parking of tankers and trailers on the overhead bridges in Lagos is illegal and unconstitutional.
The lawyer said such acts “constitute a threat to the fundamental right to life of the applicant and other motorists” as guaranteed by Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
However, at the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Justice Muslim Hassan fixed the date after parties had adopted their final addresses. Falana, a former Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) National President, sued the defendants over the deplorable condition of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
He is seeking a declaration that the respondents’ failure to remove obstructions on the road and to repair and maintain them is illegal and unconstitutional as it constitutes a threat to his fundamental right to life.
The activist also said that failure to make the road safe for motorists violates his and others’ right to freedom of movement guaranteed by Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution.
In a supporting affidavit, the SAN, who is a former West African Bar Association (WABA) President, said many of the federal roads across the country were in very bad shape, including the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
Falana said in February, while travelling back to his Ikeja office after a prison visit, he almost had an accident whilst navigating through a big gallop on the road and almost hit an oncoming vehicle.