A Federal Excessive Courtroom, Abuja has upheld the powers of the Federal Street Security Fee (FRSC) to high quality motorists for alleged site visitors offences, with out first prosecuting them in a court docket of legislation.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the choice on August 27, 2021, whereas dismissing a swimsuit filed by a motorist, Dr M.Y Suleiman, searching for N10 million as damages from the FRSC for the detention of his automobile.
The detention adopted Suleiman’s alleged violation of a site visitors offence and his subsequent cost of a high quality with out first being prosecuted.
The decide held that opposite to the plaintiff’s declare, the follow whereby highway marshals problem tickets to motorists on allegation of the fee of offences underneath the Nationwide Street Visitors Rules, 2012 and demand ‘offenders’ to pay a high quality, didn’t offend part 6(6) of the Structure, Guidelines 166 and 220 of the Nationwide Street Visitors Rules.
He famous that Justice Tijani Abubakar of the then Courtroom of Attraction, Lagos Division had already settled the matter in 2019 in case of Olookan v FRSC.
Suleiman filed the swimsuit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1167/2019, following the detention of his automobile, for, amongst others, his making a name in his automobile whereas driving.
He sought 9 reliefs, together with a declaration that he was not accorded truthful listening to by the FRSC when it issued a ticket to him to pay a high quality, because the defendants had been the complainants, prosecutors and the decide of their trigger and consequently the high quality he paid was illegal.
He additional sought a declaration that the defendant not being a court docket of legislation lacked the competence to search out individuals responsible of offences.
In one other occasion, he prayed for a declaration that the defendant lacked the competence to detain his Toyota Picnic automobile, for the fulfilment of the situation of proving his innocence of the violation of any of the provisions of the FRSC Act, 2010 and or the Federal Street Security Guidelines, 2012.
The plaintiff additionally requested the court docket to strike out Guidelines 174(1) and (2), 176, 188(1) and (2), 189(2), 211(4) 213(2), 218, 219 and 220 of the FRSC regulation 2012.
However dismissing his claims for need of benefit, the decide held that Suleiman didn’t deny making a name in his automobile however that his cellphone was related to his automobile.
He stated: “It’s borne out of the information offered by each events earlier than the court docket that the plaintiff was issued with a discover of offence and that the plaintiff truly paid the high quality. I see no flawed finished to the plaintiff who elected to pay the high quality quite than being prosecuted.
“The Courtroom of Attraction, Lagos Division has determined this problem much like the grievance of the plaintiff herein within the case of Olookan v FRSC (2019).
“I don’t assume I want so as to add any of my reasoning to the choice of my Lord Tijani Abubakar JCA (as he then was), which has determined the problems as to the cost of the high quality, which constitutes a waiver by the plaintiff to so do so as to not be charged to court docket.
“It’s my conclusion due to this fact that every one the problems for willpower should and are hereby resolved towards the plaintiff herein from my evaluation of the problems vis a vis the legislation and determined circumstances cited on this judgment.
“Subsequently, all of the reliefs being sought are hereby refused whether or not in the principle or consequentially.
“On the discharge of the automobile of the plaintiff, and his declare for normal and exemplary damages within the sum of N10, 000,000, his entitlement to this declare has not been proved by the plaintiff.”
The decide held that no cheap court docket would put aside a legislation that’s justiciable in a democratic society just like the laws made pursuant to the Act establishing the first and 2nd defendants.
“These laws are made within the curiosity of defence of public security, public order and public morality. All fingers should be on deck to make sure that the highways are protected for all motorists, highway customers and all of the members of the general public.
“Subsequently I discover no benefit within the swimsuit filed by the plaintiff. Similar is accordingly dismissed. That is the judgment of the court docket,” he declared.