Is Fashola’s Lekki Toll ‘Defiance’ A Punch In Justice’s Face

Popular opinion has it that governor Fashola's decision to continue tolling at the Lekki-Ikoyi expressway, despite a court order stopping it, is not a good one.

It is now old news that a Lagos High Court ruling recently ordered a censure of toll collecting from users of the Lekki-Ikoyi Suspension Bridge.

What is new and disturbing is the news that Governor Fashola’s government would not obey the ruling, choosing instead to file a stay of execution whilst toll collecting continues in full force.

Governor Fashola in a report by The Eagle Online declared that tolling on the bridge would continue until the Court of Appeal decided on the matter.

“We have filed an appeal on the Lekki/Ikoyi Bridge and we have also filed a motion to stay execution of that judgement.

“What my knowledge of law tells me is that until such a time the court decides on the stay of execution, the judgement remains temporarily in abeyance.”

I wondered why the governor chose this path so I went online searching for public opinion.

Rationalising the continuous tolling, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, as reported by Tribune, said “Tolls can be collected on any public infrastructure irrespective of its construction history and the collection was to relieve the states Consolidated Revenue Fund and enable it to offset debts incurred on the construction and to keep the bridge properly maintained."

“I so much like Gov Fashola but his idea on Lekki-Ikoyi toll gate fee and increase in Lasu fees I totally disagree with him on that,” Adesinuola ‏(@officialDesola) tweeted.

Popular activist ‏@omojuwa was also against Fashola’s decision.

He tweeted, “Fashola & his gang should leave story and obey the standing court order on Lekki-Ikoyi bridge. Appeal but obey this standing one.”

Akin Akande, a lawyer, told Premium Times that Lagos state ought tp have obeyed the Court’s verdict which was in order.

“If the bridge was built with public funds, there is no reason for collecting tolls from whom the money was generated,” he said.

On Facebook, Dennis Dighimini-sanami wrote, “Though he's great in action he's filthy in morals being misled by a conviction yet he's but a limited mortal.”

National Coordinator of Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Chino Obiagwu said the action “smacks of impunity and a complete disregard of the rule of law”.

In a statement issued to the press, Obiagwu called on motorists to resist the move.

“LEDAP calls on the motorists using the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge to resist payment of toll on the bridge. The people must stand to resist abuse of power by public officials.”

“[Ignoring the ruling is] gross indiscipline which should not be allowed in the society, "Mr.  Abumere a civil servant added.

Fashola is a great gov'nor

but friends, ain't it a dishonour

to defy Justice, toll collect

at #Lekki bridge... Is it correct?

Where do you stand on this? Is the people’s governor still on track?

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