Thursday, 13 December 2018

Fashola urges court to dismiss Falana’s suit on Oshodi/Apapa road

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The Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has urged the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to dismiss the fundamental right suit filed by human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN).

The popular lawyer is challenging the failure of the Federal Government to remove the gridlock on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway.

In his preliminary objection against the suit, Fashola challenged Falana’s locus standi to file the suit.

He argued that Falana had not shown that he suffered over and above other motorists or the people using the road.

The minister contended that the failure to repair the road had not restricted or breached Falana’s freedom of movement.

In a counter-affidavit deposed to by Ayodele Otedola, a litigation clerk in the ministry on behalf of the minister, Fashola contended that the gridlock on the road “is always caused by tanker drivers who normally follow the route to the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) for the purpose of loading and offloading their goods”.

The counter-affidavit stated that the minister’s “effort to clear the road and remove the trailers and tankers has not been easy but that effort has been redoubled to achieve this goal”.

But Falana, in his fundamental right suit, argued that the state of the road constitutes a threat to his life and is a violation of his fundamental right to move freely in Lagos, as guaranteed by sections 33 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, and articles 5 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

He is seeking the following reliefs:

“A declaration that the refusal or failure of the respondents to remove obstructions, repair and maintain the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway is illegal and unconstitutional as it constitutes a threat to the fundamental right to life of the applicant guaranteed by Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

Falana prayed the court for a declaration that the failure or refusal of the respondents to make the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway safe for motorists is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the applicant’s fundamental right to freedom of movement guaranteed by Section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, and Article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
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Author: verified_user

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