Court restrains FRSC from arrest over unexpired ‘old’ driver’s licence

Men of FRSC on duty

Men of FRSC on duty

THE Federal High Court, Lagos, has held that the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) cannot arrest any motorist for not having the new driver’s licence if the old version is yet to expire.

Ruling on a suit brought by a lawyer, Mr. Tope Alabi, the presiding judge, Justice John Tsoho, granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining FRSC “from compelling the valid driver licence holders, including the plaintiff, to renew same when such drivers’ licences have not expired.”

Alabi, who joined the National Assembly, FRSC and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as respondents, had prayed the court to hold that by several sections of the FRSC Act, No. 22, 2007, the commission’s bid to control the production and issuance of number-plates and drivers’ licences is unconstitutional, null and void.

He prayed the court to hold that going by the provisions of sections 4 and 5 of the 2011 Constitution, the production and issuance of number-plates and drivers’ licences is a residual matter within the exclusive legislative and executive competence of states.

The judge, however, held that it was bound by the Court of Appeal decision, which affirmed FRSC’s powers to issue licences and plate numbers.

While making an order restraining the defendants from cracking down on those still using their existing registered number plates on their vehicles, including the plaintiff, stopped the defendants “from cracking down on those, including the plaintiff, still using unexpired drivers licences pending the time within which same will expire and due for renewal.”

Alabi said FRSC had vowed that there was “no going back on September deadline for all Nigerians to replace their number plates and renew their unexpired drivers’ licences.”

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