Barristers & Solicitors
Stakeholders Call for Review of Law Establishing KOTRAMA in Kogi

Stakeholders have in separate memoranda called for the review of   the activities and the legality of the operations of Kogi State Transport Management Agency (KOTRAMA).

The stakeholders also concluded that its law should be repealed and re-enacted for better performance by focusing on the core purpose the agency was established.

The call came on the heel of a public investigation carried out at the hallowed chambers of the Kogi State House of Assembly yesterday.

The operatives of KOTRAMA have allegedly been involved in illegal operations covering wide range arresting, imposing fines, seize vehicles indiscriminately and putting on necessary pressures on the victims demanding what is not.

While speaking at the floor of the House, the Acting Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Mr. Cosmas Atabor, said that the investigation was meant to review the activities and constitutionality of the activities and constitutional provision of the agency.

Also speaking, a Legal Practitioner, Mr. Bamidele Suru, explained that his memorandum was not to criticise the agency but to ensure that governance runs well.

Bamidele noted that the FRSC law supersedes that of the state and submitted that the state could legislate on it.

He, however, decried on the spot payment of any fine, noting that KOTRAMA is not a judicial organisation to perform a judicial function, adding that there must be a mobile court to hear the other person’s view.

He averred that LASTMA has no authority to impose a fine as ruled by a Court of Appeal since the law should be subjected to legal scrutiny, arguing that there is need to expunge all the problematic areas in the law.

He, therefore, appealed to the House of Assembly to safeguard the situation, adding that Vehicle Inspection Officers should be restricted in their works.

The former commissioner noted that KOTRAMA has its functions but abandoned them. 

He stressed that it has been turned into a revenue agency, saying that “5.0 per cent is meant for the agency while 95 per cent is for the state but are they adhering to this?”

The Representative of the Civil Society, Ambassador Idris Ozovehe, from KOGONET aligned with the submission of Bamidele that the issue of revenue generation has been prioritised over the safety of lives that the agency was designed to be. 

However, the Commissioner for Transportation, Baron Okwoli, said the law was signed for the growth of the state, noting that the state has a peculiar case of being at the crossroad and the agency has generated Eleven Million, One Hundred Naira from April 2021 to August 2022.

THISDAY