Appeal Court Rules FRSC Has Legal Powers To Impound Vehicles

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has been granted authorization by the Court of Appeal, Calabar Division, to take away the car and penalise the reckless driver named Micheal Benson, Esq., from Akwa Ibom State.

Benson, the appellant and a lawyer in Uyo, was detained by FRSC agents in 2017 while they were on patrol for driving privilege, vehicle licence and tyre offences.

His Toyota saloon automobile, with the registration number KTS572, was seized by the operatives, and he was given a fine.

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. He also demanded to be awarded a sum of N10 million as damages.

Justice Aniekan Akpan, the trial judge, denied the motion for lack of merit and added that the FRSC has the constitutional authority to seize vehicles and penalise any negligent drivers.

Benson appealed the decision of the lower court because he was dissatisfied with it, but the three-judge panel, consisting of Hon. Justices R. C. Agbo, M. B. Barka, and B. B. Aliyu, rendered their decision on Monday, June 26, 2023, in case no. CA/C/305/2017.

In Michael Benson Esq. v. FRSC, the Akwa Ibom High Court’s decision was upheld.

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.”

In addition, the court rejected his request for N10 million in damages and instead awarded FRSC N50,000 in costs against the appellant.