…Says laws establishing KOTRAMA is inhuman***
A Kogi High Court on Thursday declared the activities of the Kogi Transport Management Authority (KOTRAMA), as illegal.
Justice Clement Kekere of High Court 10 made the order while delivering judgment in a case instituted against the agency by an Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Martin Atojoko.
Kereke, who faulted the law establishing KATROMA.
“By the evidence before the court, I hereby order that the Law establishing the agency be set aside forthwith.
“This is because the law made by the state house of assembly contravenes the Provisions of the Federal Road Safety Commission Act 2007.
“In all, the laws establishing KOTRAMA is inhuman, and is established to cause hardship on motorists,” the judge held.
The judge also awarded the plaintiff, N100,000 as general damages against the agency.
Atojoko had sued KATROMA and joined the Kogi House of Assembly, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and the state government as second, third and fourth defendants in the matter.
Atojoko had prayed the court to compel the defendants to pay him N10 million as general and exemplary damages for inter-alia the first defendant’s unlawful and illegal action of detaining and impounding his car.
The plaintiff had told the court in his originating summon that on June 22, 2022, he was stopped by officers of KOTRAMA over an expired driver’s licence while they impounded his Toyota Corolla car.
“My lord, I only got my car back the next day, after paying N10,000 in fines, an action which is but a contravention of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Law of 2007, ” he said.
Atojoko thereafter prayed the court to issue an order declaring that the second defendant could not make laws empowering the first defendant to exercise the powers of the Federal Road Safety Corp (Establishment) Act, 2007 in inspecting the driver’s license of motorists, issued by the FRSC and codifying same in Kogi Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection Law, 2018.
“A declaration that all the provisions of the Kogi Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection Law, 2018, empowering the first defendant to exercise the powers of the FRSC in the inspection of the driver’s license of motorists as invalid, illegal, unlawful, null and void ab initio.
“An order that the KOTRAMA cannot fine the plaintiff and impound his vehicle with registration No. 2T1BU4EE9AC312480, without first trying him and finding him guilty before a court of competent jurisdiction.
“An order that the act of the first defendant in impounding the vehicle and fining him without powers to do so is invalid, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void, ab initio,” he pleaded.
But KATROMA and other defendants through their Counsel, Mr. B.O. Obenege, had debunked the claims of the plaintiff and said that the agency acted within the ambit of the law that established it.
Obenege claimed that the house of assembly Law that established KOTRAMA was not a duplication of the FRSC Law of 2007.
He prayed the Court to hold that the action of KOTRAMA has not contravened the Kogi Law or any other law, and the claimant was given a summary fine of N10,000, all in accordance with Section 1(3) of the Law.
“In conclusion, we urge your lordship to dismiss the case for lack of merit,” Obenege had pleaded with the court.