Fashola Applauds Judgment of Lagos High Court Affirming Validity of State Traffic Law
…Says ruling has confirmed that municipal management of traffic responsibility reside in State Governments
Dec 13, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Thursday reacted to the State High Court's affirmation of the validity of the State Traffic law, saying the judgement has restated clearly that the responsibility for municipal management of traffic in any State can only reside in the elected government of the State.
The Governor who spoke in an interview with newsmen outside the NAN Auditorium, National Theater, Iganmu where he had received an Award of Excellence as the Most Labour friendly Governor added that it also means that legislative power in that State belongs to the Parliament of that State.
"So, if that Parliament sits down and passes a bill into law and it follows all the processes and gets the Governor's assent, it is really a well thought out and perfect law. So, if people in the name of freedoms and access to justice decide to institute an action against such a law, I think it is a frivolous and ill conceived action in the first place".
"I think that when laws are in place people must understand the way it is.. I understand that people are yet to come to terms with how the democratic process works. A law is not cast in stones", he added.
He explained that the same members of the Parliament reserve the right to amend and to modify such laws which is the democratic spirit adding that what is expected is for people with any misgivings about a piece of legislation to approach the Parliamentarians to take a second look at the law.
Governor Fashola said this process becomes imperative when it is considered that the 40 elected members are representing Constituencies in the state and that the law represents the expression of the desire of their constituents.
While taking a retrospective look at the case which was instituted by some commercial Okada operators against the State Government, Governor Fashola said it suggested that the State Government could not do certain things because the plaintiffs claim that there was no law in place in the first place when the action to restrict the operation of the commercial motorcyclists commenced.
Delivering judgment in a suit challenging the validity of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, Justice Aishat Opesanwo of Ikeja division held that the law did not violate the rights of the claimants.
The Court agreed with the submission of the Lagos State Attorney General, Mr Ade Ipaiye who represented the State Government and Professor Yemi Osinbajo who represented the State House of Assembly that the State legislature has constitutional power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the State and traced the history of the law to the Road Traffic Ordinance of 1949 prior to the creation of the State in 1967.
The suit was instituted by the Incorporated Trustees of All Nigerian Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association against Lagos State Government, Lagos House of Assembly and Attorney General of Lagos State.