Abuja Court Stops FRSC From Implementing Ban On Old Plate Number And Driving License


A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday declared that it was unconstitutional for the Federal Road Safety Corps to invalidate driving licences and other vehicle documents which had yet to expire.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola therefore in a judgment declared as null and void the purported regulation/directive of the FRSC to the effect that all extant driving licences as well as other vehicle documents would be invalid as from October 1, 2013.

The judge held that such directive amounted to “executive recklessness”.

The judgment followed an earlier one delivered by Justice John Tsoho of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, on March 26, 2014, declaring that the FRSC had no power to impose its newly introduced number plates on users because there was no existing law backing it.

In his judgment on Tuesday, Justice Ademola declared that the directive regarding the intention of the FRSC to invalidate some yet-to-expire driving licences and other documents, was ultra vires and was contrary to sections 5 and 10(3)(u) of the FRSC Act 2007.

He also made an order “compelling the respondents (the FRSC and its Corps Marshal), by themselves or by their officers, agents, servants, privies or otherwise” to be restrained from giving effect to “the regulation/declarations purportedly made by the Federal Road Safety Commission on September 30, 2013, until the expiration of the applicant’s and or all extant driving licenses/documents to be expired on March 24, 2013 and June 2014 respectively.”

The judgment was in a suit by an Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Jimoh Musa, who said he got his driving license on February 17, 2011 and by the provision of the FRSC Act, it would expire on March 24, 2014.

The suit was dated September 11, 2013 and filed on September 25, 2013.

He said he also renewed his documents in 2013 and they were to expire by June 2014.

He stated that his suit was informed by an announcement by the FRSC’s Corps Marshal that as from September 30, 2013 all existing valid driving licences and vehicle plate number as well as vehicle documents not yet expired would be declared null and void.

Musa also stated that the FRSC threatened to arrest and prosecute all lawful holders of valid driving licence and vehicle number plates as well as vehicle documents not yet expired.

He added that the directive and threat by the FRSC would prevent him from using his car for lawful day to day activities.

Justice Ademola, while granting all the prayers by the plaintiff, held that there was currently no law empowering the FRSC to do what it threatened to do.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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