Barrister Abubakar Yesufu, Solicitor and Advocate and practising lawyer of over 30 years’ experience has vehemently defended his rights to retrieve his vehicle seized by the Lagos State government under the guise of a traffic offence and has been slated for auction. The vehicle, a Venza American model was among several others including bikes, tricycles, awarded to the State by the Lagos State Special Offences (Mobile) Courts for driving against traffic (one way).
The State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) task force were about to have the vehicles auctioned when the versatile lawyer went to court to challenge the right of the State to impound and auction his car for a mere traffic offence. Arguing his case, the ebullient lawyer dismissed the notion that the State was justified, insisting that there was no law to support the action.
He said, besides some people vising Lagos for the first time and may not be aware of the prevailing situation, he said the punishment was too harsh and strange in Nigeria’s statute books. In a 15-paragraph treatise, the Lawyer called on the government to release his car without further delay. But the lawyer representing the state government could only mutter some incoherent response resting his submission on the spurious claim that the State government cannot be challenged.
Earlier the Lagos State Mobile Court had ordered the forfeiture of 31 vehicles for driving against the traffic. It is instructive to note that except Barrister Abubakar Yesufu, other vehicle owners had only put up meek resistance like a sheep being led to the slaughter. A small number has however criticized the Lagos Government for being too harsh, punitive under a democratic setting.