LAGOS – Contrary to expectations of motorists, the Lagos State Government has continued to collect tolls at the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge, in spite of the court ruling declaring toll collection on the bridge illegal.
A correspondent monitoring developments at the bridge reports that it was business as usual, with motorists still being compelled to pay tolls before crossing the bridge.
On March 27, a Federal High Court in Lagos ruled that “there is no existing law in Lagos State permitting toll collection on the Lekki-Ikoyi Suspension Bridge’’.
But the Lagos State Government appears to have ignored the ruling as it has continued to collect tolls, ranging from N250 to 350 before a motorist could cross the bridge.
However, the government on April 1, announced that it had formally filed a noticed of appeal against the judgment.
Reacting to the continued collection of tolls on the bridge, some motorists told NAN that they expected Gov. Babatunde Fashola, a senior lawyer, to respect the ruling of the court before appealing.
They argued that not respecting the court’s ruling could tarnish the image of Lagos State as the “Centre of Excellence’’.
A lawyer, Mr Akin Akande, argued that the judgment was in order, urging Fashola to respect the reasoning of the judge without further delay.
“If the bridge was built with public funds, there is no reason for collecting tolls from whom the money was generated.’’
He decried what he described as the wrong interpretation, the defendant was reading to the judgement, saying that the state ought to respect the ruling before appealing.
A civil servant, Mr James Abumere, said that the government’s action of ignoring the ruling showed “ gross indiscipline which should not be allowed in the society.
“It is a surprise that our governor, Fashola, failed to comply with the court’s judgement being a respected lawyer, or is anybody or government above the law?” Abumere asked.
Another motorist, Miss Abimbola Olapade, said that not obeying the ruling showed flagrant disrespect to rule of law by those at the helms of affairs.
“It is almost a week now that the court’s judgement was passed and yet the toll collection was never stopped. (NAN)