The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has reacted to a judgement delivered in 2014 by Justice J. T. Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos, that FRSC had no powers to impose fines on road traffic offenders and that such would amount to an usurpation of the functions of the Court of law.
In a statement made available to Newsdiaryonline on Wednesday, FRSC said it was actually empowered to fine traffic offenders, following separate Appeal Court judgment delivered in its favour.
According to the Corps, the judgement of the Appellate Court supercedes that of the High Court.
“We want to make it clear, that the 2014 decision of the Federal High Court, Lagos in Tope Alabi v FRSC is no longer the law as several other pronouncements of the Court of Appeal have overridden that decision which was, with due respect, reached per incuriam.
“In FRSC V Emmanuel Ofoegbu CA/L/412/ 2014 the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, overruled the judgment of the Federal High Court in Emmanuel Ofoegbu v FRSC and held that the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 and the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR) 2012 were valid laws made pursuant to the 1999 Constitution and that the provisions of the NRTR, 2012 were enforceable from 1st October, 2013, the deadline earlier set by FRSC.
“Also, in FRSC v Okebu Gideon Esq. v FRSC-CA/IL/50/2014, the Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin held that the Notice of Offence Sheet issued by FRSC does not run counter to Section 36 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended.
“Also, in Barr. Moses Ediru v FRSC & 2 ORS-CA/J/226/2010, the Court of Appeal sitting in Jos held that the fines which the law gives FRSC the nod to enforce do not, in the least derogate from the judicial powers of the Courts as enshrined in Section 10(7)(a) of the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 and Regulation 113 of the NRTR, 2012.
“We believe there are enough judicial pronouncements to the fact that FRSC has adequate legal and statutory backing to perform its functions as stated in the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 and NRTR 2012. Those brandishing recycled news on the judgment in Tope Alabi’s case delivered in September, 2014 as against the more current position of the courts, more importantly, the Court of Appeal decision in FRSC v Emmanuel Ofoegbu to the effect that FRSC has statutory and constitutional powers to arrest, detain vehicles of road traffic violators are mischief makers and as such those people should be disregarded,” the statement read.
FRSC assured the public that its operatives would continue to perform within the ambits of the law.