Appeal Court verdict exempting private vehicle owners from obtaining roadworthiness papers not binding in FCT – DRTS


The Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday declared that the March 21, 2004 judgment of the Appeal Court which exempted private vehicles from obtaining roadworthiness certificate is not binding in the territory.

The DRTS contended that the judgment would not affect other states including the FCT because each state has different traffic rules.

The Head, Public Relations and Enlightenment of DRTS, Kalu Emetu, made the position of the service known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

The Asaba division of the Appeal gave the verdict on March 21, 2024.

Justifying DRTS position, Emetu said: ”The way it is done in Delta is not the way it is done in the FCT and other states.

”The basis on which the judgment was passed in Delta differs from other states. So, you will not say because a judgment was passed in Delta and you generalise it.

”Traffic matter is a state matter. The way it affects the people of Delta certainly will not be the same way it affects the people of Lagos State and others”, he said.

Mr Emetu added that such judgment was only binding in the originating state and would not be applicable across the country.

”That law is only tenable in Delta and not in all states of the federation.

“It simply a traffic matter and as such, it cannot be generalized. It can only work in the state the judgment was passed.

”For instance in Delta, what they have is vehicle inspection office while in the FCT, what we have is DRTS, therefore, the job differs including in other states across the country.

”So, the judgment is based on what the VIO in Delta is doing over there,” he said.

He said though traffic laws fall under CAP548 of the Laws of the Federation, every state has a way of implementing their traffic laws

”Based on the same CAP, they make their regulations differently and it is the regulations that guide their operations depending on the job functions that has been given to them.

”Remember it is the respective states that plan their job functions which affects the way they work.

“The same way, any judgment that is coming must have gone through the regulations in the respective state before its passage.

”If the roadworthiness certificate is not supposed to be renewed and FCT administration chose that motorists have to be renewing it based on certain regulations they have put in place, so be it,” he added.

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