Inside Nigeria

FRSC Dares Court, Restates It Has Power to Impose Fines on Road Traffic Offenders

The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has restated that it has power to impose fines on road traffic offenders.

The statement was issued to counter the reports making the round in the social media against FRSC that it lacked such power.

The reports to which it is reacting quoted the decision of Justice J.T. Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos in 2014 in Tope Alabi v FRSC Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1234/13 that FRSC had no powers to impose fines on road traffic offenders and that such would amount to a usurpation of the functions of the court of law.

FRSC argued that there had been more current decisions of the court which had proved that it could impose fines.

“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.

The position of the FRSC is contained in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Bisi Kazeem.

The statement reads in full:

RE: FRSC CAN NO LONGER FINE MOTORISTS:

The attention of the Federal Road Safety Corps has once again been drawn to a recirculated social media publications of a decision of Justice J.T. Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos in 2014 in Tope Alabi v FRSC Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1234/13 that FRSC had no powers to impose fines on road traffic offenders and that such would amount to a usurpation of the functions of the Court of law.

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.

While assuring the public that FRSC and its operatives will continue to perform within the ambits of the law, we seize the opportunity to seek the understanding and collaboration of all citizens as we strive to evolve a safer road environment in Nigeria.

Finally, as the year winds to a close, the FRSC appeals to all road users to use the road carefully and wisely so that we can all have a crash free, peaceful and joyful yuletide.

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