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Adegboruwa Gives Ambode, Lagos Assembly Notice Of Court Action On Proposed Imposition Of Fine On Motorists

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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

His Excellency,

The Executive Governor of Lagos State,

Governor’s Oficce,

Alausa, Ikeja,

Lagos.

Dear Sir,

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.

PRE-ACTION NOTICE

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.

Yours Sincerely,

EBUN-OLU ADEGBORUWA, ESQ.

NEWS

Historic Race As JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Marathon Debuts November 2nd 2019.

Peter Okunoren

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The much-talked-about maiden edition of the JAC Motors sponsored Abeokuta 10Km Race is now re-scheduled to hold for Saturday, November 2nd, 2019.

According to a press release by the media office of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, the organizers of the international event, the shift in date for the event is to allow all and sundry observe their Sunday devotions without disruption of any sort.

The organizers, however deeply regret any inconvenience the change in date might cause, especially the sponsors and partners of the maiden edition of the Abeokuta marathon, and particularly, the over three thousand registered potential competing racers of the marathon.

The JAC Motors sponsored Abeokuta 10Km marathon, ably supported by the Ogun State government, Rite Foods, Bet9ja, QMB Builders Mart, Landwey Investment Limited, IBD International Hotels is the vision of Nilayo Sports Management Limited.

On a personal note, our heart aches as we announce the sudden passing of our media officer for the Abeokuta 10Km Marathon, Mr. Gbenga Davies. He was an extraordinary journalist who inspired a lot of young people in his profession.

We offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Davies family, colleagues and the media family in Ogun State.

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Seasoned Journalist, Gbenga Davies, For Burial August 14…. OGD, Amaechi, Saraki, Fayemi, Others Mourn

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Notable politicians, friends, and associates have commiserated with the publisher of Metronews Nigeria, Otunba Femi Davies, and the entire family on the demise of Gbenga.

The remains of Gbenga Davies, the brother of the popular and award-winning veteran journalist, Otunba Femi Davies, would be buried in Abeokuta, Ogun State, tomorrow, the August 14th, 2019.

It was reported that Gbenga slumped on Friday night at Abeokuta while watching a football match with friends. All attempts to resuscitate him failed, as a family put the cause of his death as due to cardiac arrest. He was 46 years old.

The burial arrangement as released by the family starts tomorrow at 11.00 am when the body will leave General Hospital, Sokenu, Abeokuta. There will be brief service of songs at the NUJ Secretariat, Iwe Iroyin House, Abeokuta, at 11.30 am. His remains will be buried at Kobape Cemetery by 12.30pm.

Many friends of the deceased were grieved by Gbenga’s sudden death. He was described as an easy-going and free-spirited journalist. He was never known to brood or bear grudges against anyone.

Numerous politicians across the political divides in the country have been paying glowing tributes to Gbenga, who was a three-time Journalist of the Year in Ogun State. Prominent amongst them were the former governors of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the former Senate president, Sen. Bukola Saraki and the executive governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

Others, who also commiserated with the family, were former Rivers State governor and now minister, Mr. Romiti Amaechi, and several friends of Gbenga Davies.

Gbenga was a friendly and jovial person, an humanitarian, whose contributions to his immediate community will remain unforgettable.

He had his secondary school education at Festac Grammar School, Lagos and proceeded to Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic) in Abeokuta, where he studied accounting. Though he would later choose a career in journalism, a profession he had passion for due to his closeness to his brother, the ace journalist, Otunba Femi Davies.

Until his death, he was the spokesperson for JAC Motors-sponsored Abeokuta Marathon.

Gbengene, as he was popularly called, is survived by his wife, four children, brothers, and an aged mother.

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Lets Build Nigeria Through Industry, Innovation And Infrastructure SDGs Festival Of Ideas-Goal 9 —– McKelvin Jude Oseh

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The SDGs Festival of Ideas is an International Festival scheduled to hold for 17 days, to INFORM, IMPACT and INNOVATE on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals in achieving Agenda 2030.

The Festival of Ideas (FOI) is a project hosted by a network of NGOs including Youth Initiative for Progress (YiPAfrica), led by IBI Foundation and Foundation for Inclusive Development and Accountability (FIDA) in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria (Social Investment Program) and Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs). The festival is intended to identify, amplify and unify individuals and organizations with highly innovative and impactful ideas on Nigeria’s response to achieving the SDG’s.

 

The Executive Director of Youth Initiative for Progress Africa (YiPAfrica) disclosed that YiPAfrica will be coordinating Goal 9 – Day 9 of the festival themed ‘Lets BUILD NIGERIA TOGETHER” scheduled to hold on the 11th September 2019 in Abuja.  Sustainable Development Goal 9 is based on three economic development powerhouse: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. These are interconnected to navigate the growth of a nation and they all share the objective of achieving societal inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic development.

SDG 9 has approximately five (5) targets:

 

  • To develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries.
  • Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets.
  • By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending.
  1. Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and Small Island Developing States.
  2. Support domestic technology development, research, and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities.
  3. Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in the least developed countries by 2020.

These targets are closely linked to other SDGs related to job creation, sustainable livelihoods, improved Health, Technology, Human Capital Development, and Decent Work, Gender equality, Food security, Green energy, and Climate change. In addition, the review underscored linkages with and positive impacts on other SDGs, as Infrastructure, Industries, and Innovation are enablers of growth and sustainable development for the stimulation of SDG implementation in countries broadly.

 

With participation of key stakeholders in Science, Technology, Works and Infrastructure, Government agencies, Civil Society Groups, and Private Sector, SDG Goal 9 side event during the festival will play significant role in creating different pathways to recommending possible strategic engagement with Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and Joint Ventures (JV) to solving Nigeria’s infrastructural deficits in meeting her growing populations.

 

Amongst Other high-level Panel discussions will include:

 

  • Boosting the value chain and exploring opportunities of the 4th industrial revolution.
  • Human capital development, harnessing exportable knowledge on Information Technology and Innovation for economic growth.
  • Transportation (fast, accessible and affordable means of transportation) beaming more on alternative means and Nigeria’s National Air Carrier and Financing.
  • Identifying factors affecting Manufacturing and Up-Scaling Made in Nigeria goods to meet ISO for exports.
  • Affordable Housing
  • Power: Exploring alternative source on clean and renewable energy
  • Affordable internet service coverage
  • Credit guarantee by FGN for the growth of SME’s

 

While we anticipate the adoption of our recommendations, Nigeria needs to start building. Build resilient infrastructure; promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation to meet up the challenges ahead of Nigeria’s projected population growth of 265 million people in 2030, 150 million of which will be below the age of 25 – World Poverty Clock.

 

Let us Build Nigeria TOGETHER.

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