Justice Ibrahim Idris held in his verdict that the sanitation policy of the Lagos State Government where citizens are kept indoors for three hours every last Saturday in a month, is unknown to any law.
He said there was no law in force in Lagos State, by which any citizen could be kept indoors at the behest of the government.
Justice Idris reasoned that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) grants freedom of movement to every citizen, and such freedom cannot be taken away by executive proclamation, in the absence of any law to that effect.
According to him, there was no regulation in force presently, in Lagos State, which authorizes the restriction of movement of citizens, on the last Saturdays of the month, for the purpose of observing environmental sanitation.
Lagos lawyer,Mr.Ebun Adegboruwa had filed the suit to contend that there was no law in force in Lagos State, presently, restricting movement of persons, for the purpose of observing environmental sanitation.
The defendants included Inspector General of Police, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Governor, Attorney General of Lagos State, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Lagos State Ministry of Environment.
While arguing the matter, Adegboruwa had submitted that Section 39 of the Environmental Sanitation Law 2000, of Lagos State, which the respondents claimed empower the Commissioner for the Environment, to make regulations, could not be the basis of restricting human movement on Saturdays, as no regulation in force had indeed been made for that purpose.
He challenged the Lagos State Government to produce such regulation before the court.
The lawyer further urged the court to hold that even if there was such regulation in force, it could not be enforced on roads that were designated as federal highways under the Highways Act, such as the 3rd Mainland bridge where he was arrested by the police and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
Speaking to reporters after the verdict, Adegboruwa commended the judge "for his forthrightness,courage and boldness.
He said: "This has indeed settled beyond any doubt, that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. It is a signal to all those in power, across the land, local, state and federal, that the rule of arbitrariness, of impunity and of wanton disregard for peoples' rights and freedoms, is gradually coming to an end.
"When we dare to struggle, then we dare to win. I therefore urge all Nigerians to troop to the courts, to challenge the unchallengeables, to kick off the arbitrary PHCN impositions, all illegal charges and tax impositions and all obnoxious policies wickedly devised by all our rulers."
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