We’ve Powers To Arrest Traffic Offenders – FRSC
Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi
The Federal Road Safety Corps says it has powers to arrest traffic offenders and impound vehicles used in committing traffic offences.
It refuted a report that a Federal High Court in Lagos had nullified its powers to impound offenders’ vehicles.Its Head, Media Relations and Strategy, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, said the media report was a misrepresentation of the court verdict on the issue.“For the avoidance of doubt, there are reported Court of Appeal decisions to the effect that the FRSC has powers to arrest, issue notice of offence to suspected violators; and impound vehicles used to commit traffic offences,” he said.
Kazeem, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria, said, “There is no recent judgment of the FHC Lagos on the Tope Alabi case as is being circulated. What happened was that one Tope Alabi challenged the powers of the FRSC to arrest him and impound his vehicle and make him pay fines for offences alleged. The FHC presided over by Justice Tsoho held that the FRSC had no such powers. This was in September 2014.
“However, earlier in March, same year (2014), the same Justice Tsoho in the case of Bren Williams & Anor v FRSC had held that the FRSC had statutory powers to issue notice of offence, arrest and detain vehicles suspected to have been used to commit traffic offences.’’
According to kazeem, on that same day Justice Tsoho delivered another judgment similar to the Tope Alabi case in Emmanuel Ofoegbu v FRSC, the judge had held that the FRSC had no powers to set deadlines for motorists to change over to new number plates.
This, he said, was challenged the FRSC’s powers to arrest motorists for not using the new number plates under the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, a subsidiary legislation to the FRSC Act, 2007.He said the decision was challenged and the Court of Appeal held inter alia, in Oct, 2014, “That the FRSC had statutory powers conferred by its enabling laws made pursuant to the Nigerian Constitution to regulate the use of number plates, design and set deadlines for change over to new ones.
“The September 2014 judgment of Justice Tsoho, which has also been challenged, is the one currently being circulated on the social media by mischief makers.”
SOURCE: THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER