A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State has nullified the collection of any toll or tariff on the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge.
Presiding judge, Justice Saidu, held that the power of control over all navigable waterways in Nigeria resides in the Federal Government, and not any state government.
According to the judge, from all the documents made available to the court, the only justification for the toll fee on the bridge by Lagos State is the private partnership law.
He noted however, that the law could not apply to the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge since it was built with the money of the Lagos State Government, without the involvement of any private partnership.
“Thus, since there is no law supporting the toll fee, it is illegal and should be stopped forthwith”, Justice Saidu said.
“The further counter affidavit of the third and fourth respondents, and the response of the first and second respondents, have answered most of the questions before this court.
“The second respondent National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is the only federal agency to form and regulate navigable waterway in the country, in line with the NIWA Act.
“The applicant did not contest this issue, but only goes further to raise the issue of collection of toll from the subject matter.
“The third respondent tried to justify the collection of such toll in paragraph 26 of their counter affidavit, by stating that when the bridge is erected, its proceeds will be applied to the consolidated revenue fund of the state.
“The question now is, has the state made the appropriate law to enable her collect such toll on the bridge?
“The third respondent only cited sections 27, 28, and 29 of the state Public Private Partnership Law 2011 as making provision for the collection of revenue.
“There is nothing before me to show that the subject matter in this case was as a result of any Public Private Partnership law, to enable the law of 2011 be extended.
“The fact before this court is that the bridge was built with the third respondents money.
“I agree and uphold the construction of the bridge, and the power of the LASG to generate revenue there from, but the existing laws does not cover it.
“I therefore hold that the third respondent can only make a law to that effect, before it can collect tolling on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge,” the court held.
Joined as first and second respondents are the Attorney General of the Federation, and the NIWA. The Attorney General of the state, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, and the state government, are third and fourth respondents respectively.
Adegboruwa had filed the suit on November 26, 2012, for a declaration that the state government had no authority to erect a bridge, on the lagoon which is categorised by law as federal navigable waterways.
He had also sought a determination of court as to whether there existed any law in Nigeria, authorising the collection of such tolls, tax or fee from citizens.
Adegboruwa therefore wanted the court to declare that the imposition of such tariff on road users is an illegal form of taxation and is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Responding to the ruling, human rights lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa, who filed the suit, commended the courage of the judge, especially against the background of the impunity that citizens are being subjected to all over country.
“Coming a day after the same court nullified the imposition of new number plates, this judgment should be an elixir to all Nigerians to challenge in the court, all illegal taxes and arbitrary charges in the name of road tax, PHCN metre maintenance charge, estimate bills without electricity, and so on,” he said.
Nigeria Ranks Third On Global Terrorism Index Despite Drop In Deaths – Report
Nigeria has been ranked as the third most terrorized country in the world according to a 2020 report by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
The report which was released on Wednesday, ranked Nigeria third only behind war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to the GTI report, Nigeria witnessed an increase in Boko Haram attacks in the period under review, witnessing her worst terrorist attack in 2019 in northeastern Borno State, where at least 70 people were killed and 10 others wounded when insurgents attacked at a funeral.
“Over the past year, Boko Haram increased attacks on military targets, with deaths rising from 26 in 2018 to 148 in 2019,” the report said.
However, the report recognized that terror-related incidents in the country fell by 27% in the same period due to a significant reduction in violence attributed to killer herdsmen.
“This reduction occurred despite a small increase in deaths attributed to Boko Haram, which has been the most active terrorist group in the country over the past decade. Deaths from terrorism in Nigeria are now 83 percent lower than at
their peak in 2014.”
Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the loss of his 13-year-old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali.
The Minister took to his Twitter account on Monday night to announce this sad news.
Pantami stated that the funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted in Abuja on Tuesday at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2.
The post by the minister announcing the incident reads; “Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun! My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
“Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer In sha Allah. May Allah forgive and be merciful to her.”
Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun!
My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer in sha Allah. May Allah forgive & be Merciful to her.
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) November 23, 2020
Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.
The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.
The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.
Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.
He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.
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