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General News of Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

Collection of Toll on Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge Not Illegal - Lagos State government

Lagos State Government Lagos State Government

Lagos State government has insisted that there is no court order stopping it from collection of toll on the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge stressing that its appeal against the judgement of Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court in Lagos still subsists.

Consequently, the state government urged the public to disregard ‘’the erroneous statements circulating in the media that the State Government does not have the legal right to collect tolls on the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge and that tolling on the Link Bridge is unlawful.’’

A statement signed by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, titled, ‘’The Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge – the legal status of appeal against judgment of federal high court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1405/02’’, argued that since the appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court subsists, the judgment of the Federal High Court cannot be enforced at this stage.

He maintained that the position of the law is that once a Notice of Appeal is filed along with an application for stay of execution/injunction pending appeal, the judgement being appealed against cannot be enforced until the application for stay of execution/injunction pending appeal has been determined.

The statement explained that the misleading statements were based on the false premise that the Lagos State Government has no pending appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No FHC/L/CS/1405/02 between Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa Esq. Vs. Attorney General of The Federation & Ors.

The government stated that what was struck by the Court of Appeal was the application (that came up before the Court of Appeal on 09/10/17) and not the appeal itself stressing that there is a distinction between striking out an application and striking out an appeal.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the erroneous statements circulating in the media that the Lagos State Government does not have the legal right to collect tolls on the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge and that tolling on the Link Bridge is unlawful.

‘’The misleading statements are based on the false premise that the Lagos State Government has no pending appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No FHC/L/CS/1405/02 between Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa Esq. Vs. Attorney General of The Federation & Ors.”

The statement added: ‘’On the 27th day of March 2014 the Federal High Court delivered judgment in Suit No FHC/L/CS/1405/02 and thereafter on 28th of March, 2014 the Lagos State Government (sued as 3rd and 4th Respondents), filed a Notice of Appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court and an application for stay of execution and injunction pending appeal.

‘’That on 11th of November, 2014 the Lagos State Government filed an application for extension of time within which to compile and transmit the Records of Appeal, at the Court of Appeal

"However, on the 9th of October, 2017 owing to lack of representation on the part of Lagos State Government, the application for extension of time to transmit the Records of Appeal, filed on the 11th of November, 2014 was struck out and the Court stated:

“Since Applicant is aware of today’s date and is not in court, we take it that applicant is not diligent in prosecuting its application. It is hereby struck out. Number Deleted”

‘’From the foregoing quote what was struck out was the application (that came up before the Court of Appeal on 09/10/17) and not the appeal. There is a distinction between striking out an application and striking out an appeal.

The state government maintained that as at date, there is no order striking out Lagos State Government’s appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court delivered on 27th of March, 2014 in Suit No FHC/L/CS/1405/02.

The statement added that the judgement of the Federal High Court did not specifically or expressly grant either the Declarations or the injunction sought but rather held, “I agree and uphold that the construction of this bridge was authorized and the 3rd Respondent has the power to generate revenue thereon from the subject matter but the existing law did not cover this bridge and the 3rd Respondent can only make law to that effect before it can collect toll on bridge.”

The statement added due to lack of clarity and precision in the judgment amongst other grievances the Lagos State Government filed a Notice of Appeal against the judgment on 28th March 2014.

However, the statement added that Lagos State government would continue to engage with all stakeholders and concerned members of the public in the Lekki axis and will abide by commitments and concessions made at the various stakeholders’ meetings.

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