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PRIVATE CAR OWNERS DON’T NEED ROADWORTHINESS CERT. ISSUED BY VIO – APPEAL COURT

An Appeal Court in Asaba says private car owners doesn’t need roadworthiness certificate issued by Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO).

The Court of Appeal sitting at Asaba has just affirmed the judgment of the High Court, Ughelli, declaring that the Delta State government lacks the power to authorize and demand the payment of levy and issuance of Roadworthiness Certificate in respect of private vehicles.

Justice Joseph Eyo Ekanem On 12th March 2021 delivered the judgment in appeal NO: CA/B/333/2017. He stated that he found no merit in the Appeal and therefore affirmed the decision of the trial court.

According to the Certified True Copy of the judgment sighted by TheNigeriaLawyer, the Court further stated that “Before drawing the curtain on this judgment, I need to remind public bodies and public officers that a public body or public officer vested with statutory power must take care not to exceed or abuse its or his power. It or he must keep within the limits of the authority committed to it. This is to prevent arbitrariness and the rule of man rather than the rule of law.

The Vehicle Inspection Officers went beyond the powers vested in them by the Law and the RTR. Hence, they violently use the power to stop the private vehicle of the Respondent on a public highway. They used menacing tactics and dangerous implements to demand a certificate of roadworthiness which the vehicle in question should not have. Such conduct sends a wrong signal to the citizens who may adopt such strong-arm tactics to settle disputes.”

The court also holds that a private motor vehicle is a motor vehicle belonging to a particular person. It further noted that the set of cars is for particular person or group in carrying their personal effects. However, it is not for public use or for hire or reward. Meanwhile, it will not be legal to impound a private motor vehicle for not having or carrying hackney.

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