In an appeal brought by a resident, Faith Okafor, the court said there was no written law to the effect that residents must stay at home during these periods.
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The report said Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division ordered that because of the absence of any written law, the directive of the governor on restriction of movement is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.
According to the appellate court, the Lagos state government and its affiliates do not have the right to arrest anyone on the basis of a purported environmental sanitation offence.
The government also does not have the power to try anyone in the special offences court without conforming to the dictates of the constitution, the court ruled.
“I have arrived at the inexorable conclusion that the appeal is meritorious. The same succeeds and is allowed by me. The ruling of the lower court in Suit No. M/548/2013: FAITH OKAFOR vs. LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT & ANOR. delivered on 1st July 2014 is hereby set aside.
“In its stead and for good order sake, judgment is hereby entered for the Appellant against the respondents in the following terms: It is hereby declared that the arrest and detention and transportation of the Appellant in the back of a vehicle which is of a metal cage with very little ventilation and light “Black Maria” by officials and/or agents of the 1st respondent (KAI Brigade) on 25th May 2013 for a purported environmental sanitation offence violates the Appellant’s fundamental rights to respect for the dignity of her person, personal liberty and freedom of movement as provided under Sections 34, 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, and is therefore illegal and unconstitutional,” Justice Ogakwu reportedly said, declaring that the purported trial and conviction of the appellant for environmental sanitation offence violates the appellant’s fundamental rights to fair hearing as provided under section 36 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.
“The respondents are hereby restrained from further restricting the appellant’s or anyone’s movement within Lagos state at any time or day whatsoever on the basis of environmental sanitation without there being a written law prescribing the same.
“The respondents are restrained from further arresting the appellant or anyone whatsoever on the basis of a purported environmental sanitation offence or trying anyone in the special offences court without conforming to the dictates of the constitution. The appellant is entitled to the costs of this appeal which I assess and fix at N100, 000.00,” the judge said.