The Lagos State Government said on Friday that the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the state was still in force, adding that the movement restriction during the exercise was equally still binding on citizens.
In a statement by the State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, an appeal had been lodged against the court judgment, which declared as unlawful the restriction of citizens’ movement during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise.
Ipaye said the state had equally asked for a stay of execution on the said judgment, adding that the appellate court had fixed April 16, 2015, to rule on the motion for stay of execution.
He said until the Appeal Court determines the case on way or the other, the movement restriction policy remains in force.
“In accordance with the established legal principles, it is believed that the status quo will remain and environmental sanitation with movement restriction will continue until the determination of the application,” Ipaye said on Friday.
Justice Ibrahim Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos had, on March 16, declared that the movement restriction policy was a violation of the citizens’ right to personal liberty and freedom of movement as protected by sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution.
But Lagos State Government, through the state’s Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), is contending that Idris was wrong to have made such a declaration.
Pedro, in the notice of appeal filed on March 17, insisted that the judge did not consider all other relevant provisions of the law before making his decision.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria listed sections 24 (d), 34(2) (e) (i) and 45 of the Constitution and the Environmental Sanitation Law (Edict No. 12 of 1985) as those other relevant laws that Idris failed to consider.
“The court is deemed to know and is obliged to consider all relevant provisions of the Constitution and existing laws before arriving at its judgment.
“The above provisions of the Constitution and the law of Lagos State provide for the performance of normal communal or civic obligation for the wellbeing of the community.
“The public health of the community therefore overrides the personal interest of the applicant,” Pedro argued.
He said, the environmental sanitation exercise and the attendant movement restriction is equal to any normal communal or civil obligation recognised by law.