Contrary to a report on social media which said the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) is not authorized to fine motorists, the FRSC has been empowered to do so by the court of appeal, spokesman of corps, Bisi Kazeem said in a statement on Tuesday.
In 2014, a federal high court in Lagos had voided the powers of the FRSC to impose fines on motorists for traffic offences, and this court judgement was being re-circulated on social media.
Tope Alabi, a lawyer, approached the court to declare that only a court of competent jurisdiction could pronounce a person guilty under section 10 (4) and 28 (2) of the FRSC act 2007.
But Kazeem said the verdict of the court “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,” Kazeem said.
“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.”
He said those “brandishing” the recycled report are “mischief makers” who should be ignored.
“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,” the spokesman said.