Law News
Court declares EDSMA operations on Federal highways illegal

An Edo State High Court sitting in Benin has held that the Edo State Traffic Management Authority, EDSMA, has no right to carry out  control and management of traffic on federal highways in the state, saying that it was the exclusive reserve of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nigeria Police.

The court held that all designated federal highways  must be devoid of the operations of EDSMA as its 2010 law  cannot supersede the constitution of Nigeria.

The position of the court is sequel to the suit brought against EDSMA by a Benin based legal practitioner, Mr. Kingsley Obamaogie, alleging that agents/servants of the 1st defendant jumped into his car at traffic hold up on Sapele Road, Benin accusing him of violating traffic instructions.

Also joined in the suit as defendants were the state Attorney General and the Commissioner for Transport.

The trial judge, Justice E. Ikponmwen, also held that chapter F.13, Federal High Way Act, 1971 Section (1) provides that “subject to the provisions of this Act all Federal Highways shall on the commencement of this Act, be under the management, direction and control of the Minister charged with the responsibility for roads” while “Item 63 of part 1 of the Second schedule to the 1999 Constitution as amended, placed the issue of traffic on federal trunk roads in the Exclusive list.”

The court said that with the provisions of the Federal Highways Act and the constitutional provisions, it was clear that the control of traffic on Sapele Road, Benin City which was admitted by the defendants to be a Federal Highway cannot be within the purview of EDSMA Law 2010.

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