DISAGREEMENT between a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, and the Lagos State Government over alleged proposed toll collection on the New Lekki-Ikoyi bridge, before a Federal High Court in Lagos has been fixed for hearing on February 5.
Joined as respondents in the suit is the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Inland Water Ways Authority, NIWA.
The case which was to come up before Justice Saliu Saidu, yesterday, could not go on due to absence of some respondents in the suit, which made the judge order that hearing notices be served on the LASG, and NIWA, in the interest of justice.
Counsel representing the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Frank Okolie, was the only respondent present in court, yesterday, when the case was to be heard.
Adegboruwa, through his counsel, Mrs Oreka Adegboruwa, wants the court to determine whether the LASG has the power to erect any structure such as a bridge on the Lagos Lagoon and the Lekki Lagoon. He also wants the court to determine whether the state government is competent to impose any toll or tax on such a bridge.
The applicant (Adegboruwa), who noted that collection of such a toll or tax from Nigerians contravenes their fundamental right to free movement, seeks a declaration that the imposition of a toll, fee or tariff on road users is illegal and inconsistent with Nigeria’s Constitution, arguing that the bridge was built on a federal navigable waterway belonging to the Federal Government and were categorised by law as federal navigable waterways.
According to him “the imposition of such a levy on road users will prevent them from using the bridge and constitute discrimination and violation of the rights of the road users. The toll of N500 per vehicle is uncalled for in view of the hardship, hunger and unemployment in Nigeria”.