Activist Demands Retraction From Delta Govt Over ‘Vexatious’ Public Announcement

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa inspecting a guard of honour by officials of Delta State Traffic Management Authority (DESTMA)

Human rights lawyer, Omemiroro Ogedegbe has asked the Delta state Government to immediately retract its ‘vexatious’ public announcement in which an agency of the government, Delta State Traffic Management Authority (DESTMA), gave a 21-day notice to commence arresting and impounding vehicles using covered number plates, expired plate numbers and unregistered vehicles in the state.

The activist stated that if the State Government failed to retract the announcement, he would have no other option than to approach a competent law court to seek legal redress.

Ogedegbe, however allegedly accused the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa of trying to use the traffic agency to target some certain class of individuals in the state.

He said that in the first place, the traffic agency whose head, Mr Idah Azubuike was recently appointed in a controversial manner lacks the powers to impound vehicles on grounds stated in the public announcement.

The human rights lawyer described the action of the agency as “Power intoxication at it’s peak”.

He maintained that DESTMA may be facing another round of litigation.

According to him, “we are not in Britain with unwritten laws, in Nigeria all our laws are in black and white.

“The DESTMA law 2013 empowers the agency solely for traffic control and management.

“No section of the law empowers the agency to impound vehicles of motorist.

“The power assumed by the agency is arbitral and therefore disobedience to same shall only become a duty.

“While I am sure same is already targeted at some individuals I make bold to state the agency and the governor can not enlarge the powers of the agency as it is set up by law.

“While we forgive the ignorance in the announcement, we demand a retraction of the vexatious announcement”.

Recalls that DESTMA warned that henceforth, any vehicle other than that of the State Governor, Deputy Governor, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and the Chief Justice with a covered number plates would be impounded and the offender(s) prosecuted in law court of competent jurisdiction.

BIGPEN Online understands that the warning followed alleged use of illegal number plates, illegal cover number plates, expired number plates and non registered vehicles by unauthorized person(s) in the state.