Rowdy Session As Buhari Arrives National Assembly For Budget Presentation

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived at the National Assembly complex where he will be presenting the 2019 budget proposal.

The President and members of his cabinet arrived amid a rowdy session in which lawmakers could be heard jeering and cheering loudly.

President Buhari arrived at about 12:40 pm and is expected to table the budget before a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Ahead of his arrival, men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were ensuring all security measures were in place in and around the complex.

READ ALSO: Buhari Proposes N8.8trn Budget For 2019

Also unground to give security support are the Presidential Guards Brigade, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), among others.

Earlier on, the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori conduct a rehearsal for the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, who will guide Buhari on his movement and presentation in the chamber.

Noticeably absent were the workers at the National Assembly, under the auspices of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, who had crippled business and legislative activities as part of their four-day warning strike.

The workers, who barricaded the entrances to the National Assembly on Monday, and had earlier picketed the chambers, were still at the main entrance to the premises as of 8am, had resolved to stay away from the premises pending the time the budget presentation would last.

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway: FRSC Calls For Protection Of Road Users

FRSC bossThe Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has called for the protection of user of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway while rehabilitation works are ongoing.

Traffic situation on the road had become very intense in the midst of the ongoing construction works.

The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, made the demand when he led officials of the agency on an inspection tour to see the level of work.

The FRSC boss also met with the construction companies handling the project, Julius Berger and Reynolds Construction Company to discuss ways of improving the quality of sinages to ensure the safety of motorists.

Overloading: FRSC To Clamp Down on Erring Drivers

Road-Safety-Commission-overloaded-vehicleWorried by the high rate of road accidents recorded on major highways across the country as a result of over loading, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), says it will clamp down on drivers found culpable.

FRSC Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi gave the warning on Wednesday when he visited the Kaduna State Sector Command.

He said the commission will soon embark on massive enlightenment campaign at motor parks, mosques, churches and other public places on the need to avoid overloading of vehicles plying the highways.

The FRSC boss stated that over 63 deaths have been recorded so far within the first quarter of the year due to over loading and speeding.

He also said the commission will wage a total war against non-compliance on the use of seat belt by motorists.

Mr Oyeyemi expressed worry over the increase of road crashes across the country which he said could be avoided if motorists adhere to the safety rules.

To reduce the crashes, he urged his officers to increase their level of operations by ensuring that all obstructions and broken down vehicles are removed on major highways and roads.

He also urged the officials to shun all forms of corrupt practices that will tarnish the image of the commission, promising that his administration will continue to improve on their welfare.

One other strategy being adopted by the commission to reduce road accidents is the continuous meetings with officials of NURTW and tanker drivers on the need to make the roads free and safer for all users.

Yuletide: FRSC Sets Up Mobile Courts To Try Defaulters

frscThe Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has deployed 36, 000 men to federal roads across the country to ensure adherence to road safety laws and free flow of traffic during the Christmas celebrations.

The Corps Marshall of the Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi, told journalists in Abuja that mobile courts have also been set up at strategic places nationwide to instantly try erring motorists and defaulters.

He said an aerial surveillance will kick off on the eve of Christmas to located any building gridlock and send in officers to clear these roads and ensure motorists have a smooth travel for the Christmas.

FRSC Lacks Powers To Fine Motorists – Court

Road_SafetyThe Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) lacks the powers to impose fines on erring motorists.

Justice James Tsoho held that FRSC cannot turn itself into a court of law by punishing those who commit traffic offences. The court gave this judgment in a suit filed by one lawyer, Mr Tope Alabi.

The lawyer had asked the court to declare that only a court of competent jurisdiction can pronounce a person guilty under Section 10 sub section (4) and 28 subsection (2) of the FRSC (Establishment Act) 2007 and Regulation 143 of the Nigerian Roads Traffic Regulation, 2011.

The judge declared the sections null and void for being inconsistent with Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution which vests judicial powers in the courts.

The judge also awarded N1 million as damages to the lawyer because FRSC confiscated his vehicle and driver’s license.

“It is my conviction that the plaintiff is entitled to remedy on this account,” the judge said.

Justice Tsoho held that while FRSC is statutorily empowered to arrest and fine traffic offenders, a closer look at the definition of the word “fine” means “a pecuniary criminal punishment or civil penalty payable to the public treasury.

“In the instance case, however, the involvement of the element of arrest takes the imposition of fine by the second defendant (FRSC) to the realm of criminal punishment.

“It is noteworthy that a fine, when viewed from that perspective, is a component of sentence.

“From these definitions, it is obvious that the act of sentencing is a judicial action or exercise. Imposition of fine connotes conviction for an alleged offence. This presupposes a trial and conviction of the person fined, especially having regard to the definition of sentencing.

“It is, thus, very clear that the FRSC, not being a court of law, can not impose fine, especially that it has no powers to conduct trial.

“Hence, the exercise of the statutory powers given to the second defendant under the Act as pertaining to imposition of fine is clearly a usurpation of judicial powers exclusively vested in the courts,” the judge held.

Justice Tsoho further held that FRSC’s imposition of fine on the plaintiff because of his cracked windscreen is illegal.

“In the circumstances, I endorse the plaintiff’s submission that by virtue of S.1(3) of the Constitution, the power to impose fine conferred on FRSC by the enabling Act is null and void to the extent of its inconsistency with Section 6 of the Constitution,” the judge held.

The judge said though the National Assembly is empowered to make laws, it cannot go outside the limits set by the 1999 Constitution.

“Basically, an unconstitutional legislation is null and void. That is, therefore, the effect of Section 28 (2) of the FRSC Act 2007 which has purportedly conferred power on the second defendant to impose fine, which is a judicial function. Such power is unconstitutional and unenforceable.

“The FRSC is not constitutionally vested with judicial powers and cannot and should not under any guise purport to function as a court, with competence to impose fine on alleged offenders.

“Much as FRSC seems to have passionate zeal for traffic law enforcement, it cannot be allowed to do so in breach of constitutional provisions.

“It is necessary to add that even in respect of strict liability offences, a court of law should appropriately declare the guilt of an alleged offender and then impose fine.

“FRSC’s function should not go beyond issuance of mere notices of offence,” the judge said.

“The point must be made is that it is a cardinal principle of natural justice that no person be condemned without being heard. It is in observance of this that a person alleged to have committed an offence has to respond to such allegation before a court of law during trial,” he held.

According to the judge, Alabi was issued a Notice of Offence Sheet on April 4 last year, but FRSC did not take him to court for five months before the plaintiff filed his suit on September 9, last year.

“The vital question to ask is how long would the second defendant reasonably take to commence prosecution of a traffic offence? The plaintiff was not under obligation to wait indefinitely for redress due to FRSC’s inaction or laxity,” the judge added.

The judge faulted FRSC’s practice of detaining vehicle whose drivers commit traffic offences.

“I hold the view that confiscation of the vehicle was unnecessary in the first place, though the second defendant (FRSC) spiritedly sought to justify it.

“The seemingly indefinite retention of the plaintiff’s vehicle papers and driver’s licence by officers of the second defendant is totally unreasonable, insensitive and unacceptable.
“The confiscation no doubt deprived the plaintiff of the use of the vehicle for as long as it lasted and also custody of his vehicle papers and driver’s licence.”

The judge granted 11 of the plaintiff’s 14 reliefs, and said he was awarded N1 million rather than the N10 million Alabi prayed for because “FRSC acted under the belief that it was statutorily empowered to so act,” adding that the corps’ innocent mistake “constitute a mitigating factor as to the quantum of damages.”

The National Assembly, FRSC and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) were the defendants in the suit.

New FRSC Boss Promises To Reduce Rate Of Road Accidents

Boboye OyeyemiThe new  Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi has promised to reduce road accidents in the country by fifty percent by the year 2015.

Mr Oyeyemi said the commission has a huge responsibility to reduce road crashes and fatalities to two deaths per ten thousand crashes, in other to place Nigeria among the league of global twenty safest roads by the year 2020.

He also read the riot act on reckless driving, as tougher sanctions await reckless motorists across the country.

He said although it is too early to unveil his agenda for the Corps, he would work hard to build on the foundation already laid by his predecessor.

He said, “The foundation has been laid. We shall continue the transformation of the FRSC. We shall not fail Nigerians. “We already have a foundation that we will build on. We will improve on it. It is too early now. But we will do our best.”

Speaking further, Oyeyemi identified attitude of the Nigerian motoring public as the bane towards safer roads in the country and pledged that the FRSC will harness its potentials to ensure strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations.

Addressing a parade later at the FRSC national headquarters in Abuja, the new Corps Marshal commended Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for the confidence he has with the FRSC to deliver its mandate by appointing a career officer from the Corps to succeed the former Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka.

Boboye Oyeyemi, who joined the FRSC on 6th June 1988, was until his present appointment, the Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle Administration and has served the FRSC in various capacities as Sector Commander, Zonal Commanding Officer, Assistant Corps Marshal Operations (2009-2010), Assistant Corps Marshal, Training Standards and Certification (2008-2009), Assistant Corps Marshal Planning, Research and Statistics (2006-2008) and Deputy Corps Marshal Operations (2010-2014).

He is a member of several professional institutions such as Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Member, American Society of Safety Engineers, Member, Institute of Road Safety Officers, London, Member, Royal Society for Prevention of Accident.

The new Corps Marshal hails from Odo-Owa, Oke Ero Local Governement Area of Kwara state.

Police BCMR Will Improve Security In Nigeria- Frank Mba

The Nigeria Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba on Friday said the Police Biometric Central Motor Registry (PBCMR) will help in ensuring total safety of Nigerians living in the country.

Mba, who said there is nothing new about the policy, added that “the only thing new about it is the fact that we are moving from an old, analog, obsolete and ineffective system of doing it to a new, digital platform, which we believe comes with so many add-on advantages”.

The exercise, according to Mba, is in pursuance to the provisions of the traffic law which mandates the Inspector General of Police to maintain a central motor registry and (drivers) licenses in Nigeria.

He added that the purpose of the registry is for “the country to have a central reservoir where you can find the details of all vehicles that are registered in Nigeria” which in turn will help the “police in investigations”.

He berated the huge files found in the ‘old’ central motor registries noting that “you cannot conduct any research under that environment”.

With the ‘new’ system, Mba said facial and biometric data of vehicle owners will be imputed into a computer.

He noted that if the police can achieve 80 per cent compliance, it will be impossible for car thieves to sell the vehicles in Nigeria.

He further assured Nigerians that the biometric registries will save everyone the embarrassment of buying stolen vehicles. He gave an instance of a serving Port Harcourt Magistrate who bought a stolen vehicle and was later embarrassed by the owner.

Mba revealed that most crimes committed in the country are mostly perpetrated using vehicles insisting that the registry will enable the police to carry out proper investigations in tracking the owners of the vehicle and perpetrators of such crimes.

On collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on the collation of the data, Mba said their responsibilities differ and as such the kind of data the police will gather will certainly be different from the data that the FRSC will gather.

 

 

Suspicious Package Causes Bomb Scare In kaduna

An item suspected to be bomb found in Kaduna town on Wednesday afternoon caused panic and pandemonium in the city.

Security men said they found a box dropped along the busy Ali Akilu road in the state capital, following reports, by passers-by of a suspicious package suspected to be a bomb.

Security operatives and anti-bomb police personnel who were hurriedly drafted to the scene cordoned off the location, the busy road that connects motorists from the popular Sheik Abubakar Gumi market to Kawo.

The scene is directly opposite the headquarters of Defence Industries Company of Nigeria (DICON), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), banks, public offices and several  business premises.

The package, according to security agencies and the Director General media to the Kaduna state governor, Ahmed Miyaki was a box containing some personal items said to have fallen down from a commercial bus.

Mr. Miyaki however assured residents of their safety and advised them to go about their normal businesses.