Court hears suit against Ikoyi-Lekki bridge Feb 5
A FEDERAL High Court, Lagos, Tuesday said it would hear the case filed by human rights activist, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, against the Lagos State Government over the proposed toll collection on the New Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge on February 5.
The plaintiff also joined the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) as co-defendants. The case, which was slated for hearing yesterday before Justice Saliu Saidu, could not go on due to the absence of some respondents in the suit.
Counsel to the applicant, Mrs. Oreka Adegboruwa, informed the court that though all respondents in the suit were duly served, they failed to appear in court regardless of service of processes. Justice Saidu, however, ordered that hearing notices be served on the Lagos State Government and NIWA respectively in the interest of justice. He, therefore, adjourned the matter to February 5 for mention.
Adegboruwa had sued the Lagos State Government over the proposed collection of N500 toll on the newly constructed Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge.
He is seeking an injunction restraining the government from collecting any toll from motorists on the bridge.
He stated in the originating summons that a report on the proposed toll collection was published by The Guardian on October 8, 2012. Adegboruwa argues that the toll of N500 per vehicle is uncalled for in view of the hardship, hunger and unemployment in Nigeria. He further claims that the bridge was built on a federal navigable waterway belonging to the Federal Government.
Adegboruwa also wants the court to determine whether the Lagos State Government has the power to erect any structure such as a bridge on the Lagos Lagoon and the Lekki Lagoon which, he said, were categorised by law as federal navigable waterways. He also wants the court to determine whether the state government is competent to impose any toll or tax on such a bridge.
Adegboruwa claims that 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 road users. He seeks a declaration that the imposition of a toll, fee or tariff on road users is illegal and inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution.
Counsel to the AGF, Mr. Frank Okolie, was the only respondent present in court.