The Court of Appeal, Lagos Judicial division has nullified the restriction of movement on Environmental Sanitation Saturdays, which occurs every last Saturday of the month in Lagos State.
The court held that the directive of the Governor of Lagos State on restriction of movement between the hours of 7am to 10am on every last Saturday is illegal and unconstitutional.
This decision was delivered yesterday, 4th November 2016 in the case of “Faith Okafor vs A.G Lagos state”. Until this decision is overturned by the Supreme Court theres freedom of movement every Environmental Saturday.
FAITH OKAFOR V LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL OF LAGOS STATE
In The Court of Appeal Lagos Division
On Friday, the 4th Day of November, 2016
Before Their Lordships
SIDI DAUDA BAGE JUSTICE, COURT OF APPEAL
BIOBELE ABRAHAM GEORGEWILL JUSTICE, COURT OF APPEAL
UGOCHUKWU ANTHONY OGAKWU JUSTICE, COURT OF APPEAL
FAITH OKAFOR Appellant
1. LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
2. ATTORNEY GENERAL, LAGOS STATE Respondents
It is now the appropriate time to put this judgment to bed. After due consideration of this appeal and the issues raised therein, 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:
1.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.
2. It is declared that the purported trial and conviction of the Appellant for a purported 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, and is therefore unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.
3. It is further declared that in the absence of a written law prescribing the same, the 1st Respondent’s directive for people in Lagos State to stay at home and not to move about thereby restricting movement of persons in Lagos State within the hours of 7.00am to 10.00am on the last Saturday of every month is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6.Reliefs 1.6 and 1.7 are dismissed.
The Appellant is entitled to the costs of this appeal which I assess and fix at
COURT OF APPEAL
Ikenna Okoli, Esq ( with U. Obiora, Esq) for the Appellant.
Adeniji Kazeem, esq, Hon. Attorney General, Lagos State ( with Akinkunmi Idowu, Esq, Director, Civil Litigation, Ms T. Oshodi, Asst. Director; Adebayo Haroun, Esq, Asst. Director; Ms Olayinka Oyegunle, Chief State Counsel and Olakunle Olarewaju, Esq., State Counsel) for the Respondent.