The High Court of Akwa Ibom State today, the 8th day of October, 2021 delivered judgment in a fundamental rights enforcement suit no. HU/FHR/171/2021 filed by EDIDIONG AKPANUWA, ESQ on behalf of the Applicant to the effect that Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) acting on the instructions of the Akwa Ibom State Government cannot by virtue of section 36 of the Constitution assume the powers and/or functions of the court to impose penalties and impound vehicles of a person alleged to have committed traffic offence. The court declared such action by the VIO as unconstitutional. Accordingly the court ordered the Government of Akwa Ibom State and the Ministry of Transport to:
- Immediately return to the Applicant the sum of 5000 naira illegally collected as penalty for alleged breach of traffic regulations.
2. To pay to the Applicant 500,000 naira as general damages.
3. To pay applicant 1, 500, 000 naira as exemplary damages 4) 80,000 as cost of the action
So, if you are a car owner with private registration, whenever any VIO official stops you on the road, do not indulge him or her. Tell them boldly that they have no right to be on the road.
Their duties of vehicle inspection ends at their offices when you go to apply for license.
Enough of these acts of exploitations.