Appeal Court Upholds FRSC’s Powers to Impound Vehicles, Impose fines

The Court of Appeal, Calabar Division, has upheld the powers of the Federal Road Safety Corps to impound the vehicle and impose a fine on an erring motorist, one Micheal Benson, Esq.

The appellant, who is also a lawyer in Uyo, was arrested by operatives of FRSC on patrol in 2017 for driver’s license, vehicle licence and tyre violations.

The operatives impounded his vehicle, a Toyota saloon car with registration nos: KTS 572, and placed a fine on him.

The appellant, however, dragged the FRSC to the Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo in a suit nos: HU/FHR. 21/2017 challenging its powers and right to impound his vehicle and called for the enforcement of his fundamental human right and also demanded to be awarded a sum of N10 million as damages.

The trial Judge, Justice Aniekan Akpan, dismissed the application for lacking merit, adding that FRSC had the constitutional powers to impound vehicles and fine any erring motorist.

Not satisfied with the decision of the lower court, Benson approached the Court of Appeal to upturn the judgement, but the three man panel, Hon. Justice R. C. Agbo, Hon. Justice M. B. Barka, and Hon. Justice B.B. Aliyu, who delivered judgement on Monday, June 26, 2023 in suit nos: CA/C/305/2017. Michael Benson Esq vs FRSC, upheld the ruling of the Akwa Ibom High Court.

Justice Aliyu, who read the judgement on behalf of the panel, held that “FRSC has the powers to arrest, prosecute within the ambit of Law denoted to the commission. We affirm the decision of the trial court and posit that the Appeal was grossly incompetent.”

The court also dismissed the prayer that N10 million should be awarded to him as damages and instead awarded a cost of N50,000 against the appellant in favour of FRSC.