Court fines Federal Road Safety Commission N10million for wrong checking

The Federal High Court, Warri has delivered Judgement in the case of Darlington Ugo Ehirim v. Federal Road Safety Commission Suit No. FHC/W/CS/90/2017.

The Plaintiff in an affidavit in support of his originating summons stated that he was stopped by FRSC officials while driving along Ajamimogha Road, Warri on his way to court. The Plaintiff had challenged the authority of the FRSC officials to be creating a long queue early in the morning while checking vehicle particulars. Plaintiff further stated that the FRSC officials, out of annoyance told him to park, which he obeyed.

They seized his vehicle particulars and charged him to court on a purported charge of not wearing seat belt. The charge against the plaintiff was withdrawn upon the intervention of Kunle Edun, the then Vice Chairman of NBA, Warri (now the National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association).

Mr. Kunle Edun, acting as the Plaintiff’s counsel and Chairman NBA Warri Human Right Committee subsequently filed an action against the FRSC at the Federal High Court, Warri, seeking multiple issues for resolution by the learned high court Justice in line provisions enshrined in the 1999 constitution, as amended.

The trial Judge upon considering depositions from counsels to the plaintiff, Darlington Ugo Ehirim, and the defendant, FRSC, granted reliefs in judgement to the parties inter alia:

1) A declaration that the stoppage of the Plaintiff’s vehicle Reg. No. KJA 502 and the seizure of his driver’s licence by the Defendant on the 15th day of June, 2017 along the Ajamimogha Road, by Herismor House, Warri (not being a federal trunk road) is unlawful and a violation of Plaintiff’s right to freedom of movement as guaranteed by the provisions of section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

2) An order of injunction restraining the Defendant by itself and/or through it’s privies, agents, officials, subordinates or under any other guise from further harassing, arresting, detaining and/or prosecute the Plaintiff or any motorist in respect of anything done in connection with vehicular traffic and/or the use of State’s and Local Government roads.

3) The sum of N10, 000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira)as exemplary and general damages.

The trial court agreed with all the issues raised by Kunle Edun, the Plaintiff’s counsel and accordingly granted all the reliefs sought.

The court also awarded cost of N200,000 00 against the Defendant.

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