A Lagos Federal High Court will today (Friday) rule on the application by Lagos State government seeking suspension of the judgment that lifted the ban on citizens’ movement during monthly sanitation exercise.
The court presided by Justice Mohammed Idris fixed the date on Thursday after the Lagos State Solicitor General, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), had argued in support of the motion for stay of execution of the court’s March 16 judgment, which voided the movement restriction policy.
In the judgement, Justice Idris had declared the movement restriction policy as illegal and a violation of sections 35 and 41 of the constitution, which preserved the citizens’ right to personal liberty and freedom of movement.
Though the judge did not overrule the sanitation exercise, he held that Lagos State and its agents lacked the legal backing to arrest or detain any citizen found moving during the exercise as there was currently no law to that effect.
“I have no doubt that the restrictions imposed on the movement of persons and sanctions meted out to those who breach them are clearly unsupportable in law and unjustified.
“I must state loud and clear that the environmental sanitation exercise is not in itself unlawful, but what is unlawful and unconstitutional is the restriction imposed by the respondents during the exercise.”
But Lagos State government had since lodged an appeal against the judgment.
The state’s Solicitor-General in a further affidavit insisted that the judge did not consider or exhaust all relevant provisions of the law before arriving at his judgment.
In opposition, the respondent/applicant, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa had asked the court to refuse the application for stay of execution of the judgement, saying Lagos State had a penchant for disregarding court judgments.
He said the state had been known for undermining the authority of the court and accused the state of deliberately delaying hearing in its own appeal against Idris’ judgment.