Constitutionally, You Can’t Impound Vehicles  Or Impose Penalties – Court Tells VIO

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The Court declared that: … State Government(s) cannot by virtue of section 36 of the Constitution assume the powers and/or functions of the court to impose penalties and impound vehicles of a person alleged to have committed traffic offence.

*A VIO on duty on the Lagos road

PEGASUS REPORTERS, LAGOS | DECEMBER 11, 2021

A high court in Akwa ibom has declared the impounding of vehicles and the imposition of penalties for alleged breach of traffic offences by Vehicle Inspection Officers, unconstitutional.

This judgement was delivered on October 8 2021 by Justice Aniekan Etome in a fundamental rights enforcement suit no. HU/FHR/171/2021 filed by Edidong Akpanuwa ESQ on behalf of applicant to the effect that vehicle inspection officers (VIO) acting on the instructions of the Akwa Ibom State Government cannot by virtue of section 36 of the Constitution assume the powers and/or functions of the court to impose penalties and impound vehicles of a person alleged to have committed traffic offence.

  • READ ALSO: Private Car Owners Don’t Need Road-worthiness Cert. Issued By VIO – Appeal Court

The court declared such action by the VIO as unconstitutional.

Accordingly the court ordered the Government of Akwa Ibom State and the Ministry of Transport to :-

1) Immediately return to the Applicant the sum of 5000 naira illegally collected as penalty for alleged breach of traffic regulations
2) To pay to the applicant 500,000 naira as general damages
3)1, 500, 000 naira as exemplary damages 4) 80,000 as cost of the action.

Culled from BarristerNG.com

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