Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge controversy: Court adjourns hearing to Thursday

The state government did not wait for a court ruling.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday fixed June 20 to hear a motion challenging the collection of tolls on the new Lekki-Ikoyi Suspension Bridge in Lagos State.

Justice Saliu Saidu fixed the date on Tuesday after the application was filed.

A lawyer and rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, filed the application and sought an injunction to restrain the Lagos State Government, the respondent, from collecting tolls from motorists on the bridge.

In the application, the plaintiff stated that the respondent had gone ahead to collect tolls on the bridge in spite of a pending suit he filed seeking to stop the collection.

He noted that the court had reserved judgment on the substantive suit for July 9.

The plaintiff said that the government inaugurated the bridge on May 29 and started collecting tolls on June 1.

In a further affidavit he tendered before the court, Mr. Adegboruwa attached a toll ticket he received on the bridge.

“The Governor of Lagos State openly declared the bridge a toll bridge, whereby saloon cars will pay N250 per trip and Sports Utility Vehicles N350.00 per trip,” he averred.

Mr. Adegboruwa described the government’s act as abuse of court processes.

In the substantive suit, the plaintiff had submitted that the state government had no right to demand tolls on the bridge constructed on a Federal Navigable Waterway.

Also joined in the suit as defendants are the attorney-general of the federation and the National Inland Waterway Authority.

The plaintiff filed the substantive suit on Nov. 26, 2012, while the court heard arguments from parties on April 29.

The Attorney-General of Lagos State, Ade Ipaye, had then argued that the bridge had not been inaugurated and that there was no truth in the speculation that tolls would be collected on it.

Mr. Ipaye claimed that the suit was premature, since the government had not decided on whether to collect tolls on the bridge. He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the suit as a mere gimmick aimed at wasting judicial time.

(NAN)


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