Eminent lawyer and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adetgboruwa, has given Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly notice of his intention to file a case in court to challenge the imposition of fines on motorists with expired vehicle documents.
This is contained in a letter dated February 11, 2019, in which Mr. Adegboruwa informed the Governor and the Speaker of an alarming post currently circulating on the social media, about hidden cameras mounted in strategic areas in Alausa, to be deployed to capture and read the particulars of all vehicles and any vehicle discovered to bear expired documents would be subject to a fine of N20,000 or the said vehicle will be impounded.
Mr. Adegboruwa is contending that the government of Lagos State has no power to impose any fine on any citizen without a law defining and prescribing such a fine, after a full trial before a court of law. He is relying on section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution to argue that no citizen can be subjected to any conviction of payment of a fine unless there is an existing law covering such fine. He said that upon receiving several calls and messages from concerned citizens, he has searched all the laws of Lagos State and could not find any law authorising such imposition of fine on motorists. He therefore wants Governor Ambode and the Speaker to furnish the particulars of such law and if there is none, they should immediately debunk the alarming information since it is already creating fear of the unknown on many Lagosians who are now scared to go out.
Adegboruwa then informed the Governor and the Speaker that if indeed there exists such law, he would be challenging it by filing a case at the High Court to seek a declaration to nullify it as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and an order of injunction to restrain its implementation.
Below is the text of the letter.
Our Ref: A&C/RC/L-07/02/2019
Monday, February 11, 2019
The Executive Governor of Lagos State,
RE: ALLEGED HIDDEN CAMERAS IN ALAUSA AREA AND IMPOSITION OF FINES AND TAXES ON MOTORISTS
The above matter refers. I write to bring to your esteemed notice, a recent development concerning alleged hidden cameras said to be positioned around government secretariat in Alausa area of Lagos, to be deployed for the imposition of fines on motorists plying roads in Lagos State.
About a week ago, the social media became agog with news of a new revenue drive by the Lagos State Government, through the imposition of fines on motorists with expired vehicle documents. For ease of reference, the said alarming and disturbing message is reproduced herein:
“Don’t drive any of your vehicles with expired documents within Ikeja environs especially the Alausa secretariat. There are special cameras mounted to capture plate numbers, read their vehicle details and charge them where a default exists. A text message will come to your phone requesting you to pay the fine within seven days or the car will be impounded. Each offence is N20,000. Yes, they are using Secretariat to test run the system. Eventually it is going to be installed all over Lagos. At least one will pass through areas like Oshodi, Ikeja, Agege (when completed), VI, Lekki, Ajah, Marina, Ikorodu, Epe, etc. At all these areas, this system will be installed. No matter how fast you are, the camera will pick your number. More money for Lagos. Let’s do the right thing at the right time. Always check your particulars and renew when due.
The next stage will be direct debit to your bank account. No vehicle will be registered or renewed without the owner (sic) bank account. That is what they operate in South Africa. Now, police won’t be disturbing and checking particulars.”
From the above post, there is an alleged plan by the Lagos State Government, to be penalising motorists whose vehicle documents have expired, by compelling them to pay a particular amount ranging from N20,000 and above. It is my humble view that a fine or penalty should be a result of the violation of an existing law, following due process of law. In other words, the defaulting motorist must have been properly arraigned pursuant to an existing law, before a court of competent jurisdiction and subjected to proper trial and conviction, to be liable to pay any fine or penalty.
I have however searched through the latest compilation of the laws of Lagos State, 2015 and subsequent laws enacted by the House of Assembly of Lagos State, and I have not been able to locate any law authorising the imposition of penalty or fine on motorists on account of expired vehicle documents. The procedure that I am presently familiar with is that the Lagos State Government has perfected a reminder mechanism by which all motorists are enjoined to renew the documents of their vehicles and all outstanding charges are collected in that process.
Under and by virtue of section 36 (12) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended):
“Subject as otherwise provided by this Constitution, a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty therefore is prescribed in a written law …”
This section has been interpreted by the Courts, especially in the famous case of Aoko v Fagbemi (1961) 1 ALL NLR 400, to the extent that no citizen of Nigeria, (including motorists in Lagos State), can be subject to the rule of arbitrariness, such as contained in the above post. The power to impose any fine upon any citizen resides with the court properly established for that purpose. I therefore humbly seek your kind confirmation and/or clarification of the above Sir, to enable me respond to several inquiries that I have received from many Nigerians, who are now scared to move around for fear of the unknown.
Sir, it is the requirement of the newly enacted High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules of Lagos State, 2019, that all avenues of resolution of potential court cases be explored, before proceeding to file any case in court. I will thus be glad to meet with any official of the State, to be better educated and enlightened on this development. I also do humbly suggest, where this alarming information is not correct, that steps be taken to alert all residents of Lagos State on the true state of affairs.
If however the information is true and correct, kindly take this as notice of my intention to commence an action in the High Court of Lagos State, against the Lagos State Government and all its functionaries, including but not limited to the Lagos State House of Assembly, to seek declarations from the court, to annul the said policy as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void. I will also be seeking an order of injunction to restrain the Lagos State Government from implementing the said policy.
While appreciating your prompt and positive response, please accept the best assurances of my warmest regards, always.
EBUN-OLU ADEGBORUWA, ESQ.
Tony Elumelu Foundation Hosts European Commission, Leading Development Finance Institutions and Think Tanks in Brussels
At a time when Europe’s relationship with Africa is high on foreign policy and developmental agendas and with the European Union beginning to deliver on its 2017 External Investment Plan, targeted at attracting investment and job creation in Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation brought together leading stakeholders in the development finance sector, at a case study session in the EU capital, Belgium.
The convening demonstrated that Africa also had solutions to bring to the table and platformed the Foundation’s unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in scale across the continent.
Themed “A Convening on Africa’s Economic Transformation: A Case Study of the Tony Elumelu Foundation”, the event presented the results of the first five years of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme a unique programme, which has trained, mentored and seeded 4,470 African entrepreneurs with 3,050 newly announced to receive seed funding, and drawn over 200,000 applications to its 2019 cycle. Tony Elumelu’s $100m investment in entrepreneurial philanthropy was held up as an example of how vital capital could be targeted efficiently and effectively, at African businesses best able to create significant economic and developmental impact.
Opening the event, Mr. Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO, EU, said: “Africa needs to create jobs by the millions to match the needs of its exponentially growing population. It will achieve this only if it unleashes a generation of empowered entrepreneurs. The Tony Elumelu Foundation contributes to this massively. The European Union wants to play its part and contribute to this endeavour.”
During an indepth question and answer session with EU-Africa relations expert, Annie Mutamba, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CON, highlighted the growing interest in the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its unique approach, while welcoming a new type of intervention in Africa. “We very much believe in collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to transform Africa. Africa is ready but we need to do this through the right sustainable manner, that enables our people to become self-reliant, and independent, instead of perpetuating dependency. We need to implement practical solutions on ground through entrepreneurship, which empower people economically and addresses issues of extremism, migration, and insecurity.”
Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, Belgium, also commented: “There is an increasing desire in Europe to engage Africa, including its grassroots in a structure and targeted approach with the right processes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers this platform.”
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which last month in March announced 3,050 selected entrepreneurs for its 2019 cycle, continues to grow in scale, ambition and impact, and now actively leverages technology to support entrepreneurs through TEF Connect – a digital hub designed to link entrepreneurs across Africa, and which already has 500,000 users.
On the Foundation’s future plans, he stated: “We want to make sure that we impact more, reach more, touch more lives and get more women involved. We want to see more Northern Africa participation. We would like to reach 10,000 a year, with support from partners to empower additional entrepreneurs. We want to eradicate poverty and create wealth in a sustainable way. Ultimately, \we want a larger and broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, that supports young Africans, and we want to deepen our engagement with government to create the enabling environment to support these Africans to succeed – the right investment climate, training, education, access to capital and most importantly creating the right investment culture.”
Other dignitaries at the event included: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Viwanou Gnanssougou, Assistant Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) at the European Council of the European Union, and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
A Mother Knows —- A Short Film About Autism By GTBank [WATCH]
A Mother Knows is a short film by GTBank created to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Nigeria. The film tells the story of a young boy growing up with autism and the impact of the condition on his family as they raise him.
According to the WHO, 1 in 160 children
The film, A Mother Knows, is part of the Bank’s effort in addressing the neglect and stigmatization of children living with Autism face, daily.
Speak up against the stigmatisation of people living with Autism and other developmental disorders.
Visit www.gtbank.com/autism to learn more about Autism.
Zeno Launches First Bus Ride In Lagos
Today, the 1 st of April through the 5th of April, several lucky commuters will get free accessOn the Zeno experience free bus rides between the Ajah-Lekki-VI axes of Lagos.
Zeno, a flagship product from Zeno Digital Limited – an indigenous technology firm in Nigeria – is seeking to change the narratives of the daily commuters through organized mass Transportation while also leveraging shared economies. This service will be delivered throughthe Zeno mobile app.
Zeno bus service is a schedule based system that is both time-based and route-based – a 7 am bus leaves exactly by 7 am and heads straight to its destination. It runs via a network of private loading bays all across the city of Lagos.
Schedules are available daily for users to book and secure their seats in a bus ride. Our private loading bays have been carefully selected along existing paths to the traditional bus stops. Whilst it immediately shields users and the buses from the harassments and hustle at the traditional bus stops, they are easily located as directions to them are available in the app when a booking is made. The bus service runs two lines; a blue line with no stops in between and a red line that has only two stops.
These stops are simply drop-off points. A key feature of the Zeno app is FDT (Fixed Daily Transit). This allows users with fixed daily transit pattern to pre-book and schedule their rides ahead of time, saving them the last minute rush of trying to book or completely missing a trip because it was fully booked. With this feature, users get a reminder 15 minutes before pick-up time to either confirm or cancel their booking. Payment is completely cashless; you can pay in-app via your cards or by purchasing a voucher online.
The Zeno app has an SOS button on the user and driver apps respectively that can be activated when in danger. This allows the business to intervene immediately if there is an issue of concern and can be further escalated to the nearest security agency if need be. Also, there is real-time video surveillance in the buses to capture events as they happen.
Zeno buses are fully air-conditioned and comfortable. Needless to say, the affordability that comes with the shared system is unmatched. The buses also provide the opportunity for individuals to join the scheme as partners by bringing their buses to the platform.
Partners have access to a remote dashboard that shows them how their asset is performing daily while also having a lion share of the revenue. The Zeno app is available to be downloaded on theGoogle and iOS app stores respectively.
You can join the conversation and follow the Zeno experience on social media @zenonigeriaacross all social media platforms.