Court Didn't Stop Tolls On Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge – AG
Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, has said the Thursday's judgment of the Federal High Court did not stop toll collection on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge.
Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had in a judgment held that there was no law backing the imposition of tolls on the users of the bridge.
But Ipaye said the judgment was ambiguous as the court failed to make any consequential order or declaration barring toll collection on the bridge. He said therefore toll collection would continue on the bridge.
The commissioner, who addressed journalists at his office in Ikeja shortly after the judgment was delivered, said the government was going to appeal and file an application for stay of execution of the judgment.
He said, “The judgment read this morning did not specifically address many of the questions raised by the applicant, neither did it grant any of the declarations sought.
“As you heard for yourselves, no order made. However, the pronouncements referred to above are capable of being interpreted as court orders, hence our decision to appeal and stay of execution immediately.”
He disagreed with the court as he maintained that contrary to the judge's pronouncement, section 29 of the Private Public Partnerships Law of Lagos State had made provisions for collection of tolls even existing public assets regardless of how the said assets were procured or constructed.
While responding to questions from journalists, Ipaye maintained that tolls would continue on the bridge.
“They will continue to pay. All the same, we are not ruling out any kind of interpretation ,” he said.
He said aside from the failure of the court to make any consequential order or declaration, “the judgment contained at least two or three fundamental errors.”
He said the payment of N10m by Julius Berger which constructed the bridge to the National Inland Waterways Authority, was never a concession that it was the Federal Government which had the power to regulate inland waterways within the state.
“The second fundamental error was the assumption that the Private Public Partnerships Law of Lagos State which we cited in support of toll collection did not apply, simply because the bridge was not constructed by public-private partnership,” Ipaye said.