No More Monthly Environmental Sanitation For Lagosians

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The routine monthly environmental sanitation in Lagos State, has been annulled by the Appeal Court in Lagos, which described it as illegal.

Delivering its judgement over the weekend, the court ordered the Lagos State Government not to restrict people’s movement within Lagos State at any time or day whatsoever on the basis of environmental sanitation as there is no written law to that effect.

Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division held that in the absence of a written law prescribing the same, the governor’s directive for people in Lagos State to stay at home and not to move about thereby restricting movement of persons in Lagos State within the hours of 7.00am to 10.00am on the last Saturday of every month was unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

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Lagos State Government and its affiliates were further restrained from henceforth arresting anyone whatsoever on the basis of a purported environmental sanitation offence or trying anyone in the Special Offences Court without conforming to the dictates of the Constitution.

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The suit was brought before the court by a Lagos resident, Faith Okafor (Appellant) against the Lagos State Government (Respondent).



After due consideration of the appeal and the issues raised therein, Justice Ogakwu said; “I have arrived at the inexorable conclusion that the appeal is meritorious. The same succeeds and is allowed by me. The Ruling of the lower court in Suit No. M/548/2013: FAITH OKAFOR vs. LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT & ANOR. delivered on 1st July 2014 is hereby set aside.”

His judgement entered for the Appellant against the Respondents declared that the arrest and detention and transportation of the Appellant in the back of a vehicle which is of a metal cage with very little ventilation and light “Black Maria” by officials and/or agents of the 1st Respondent (KAI Brigade) on 25th May 2013 for a purported environmental sanitation offence violates the Appellant’s fundamental rights to respect for the dignity of her person, personal liberty and freedom of movement as provided under Sections 34, 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, and is therefore illegal and unconstitutional.

The judge held that the purported trial and conviction of the Appellant for a purported environmental sanitation offence violates the Appellant’s fundamental rights to fair hearing as provided under Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, and is therefore unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

The court further declared that in the absence of a written law prescribing the same, the 1st Respondent’s directive for people in Lagos State to stay at home and not to move about thereby restricting movement of persons in Lagos State within the hours of 7.00am to 10.00am on the last Saturday of every month is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

The Respondents were restrained from further arresting the Appellant or anyone whatsoever on the basis of a purported environmental sanitation offence or trying anyone in the Special Offences Court without conforming to the dictates of the Constitution.

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Justice Ogakwu further ruled that the Appellant was entitled to the costs of the appeal which was assessed and fixed at N100, 000.