Judgment on DOAS unfortunate, we will appeal – Adam
The Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage, DOAS, of the Federal Capital Territory administration has been declared illegal and unknown to law.
Justice Muawiyah Baba Idris of the FCT High Court, Baba Idris, who gave the ruling, said the establishment of DOAS did not have basis in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having been created contrary to the dictates of Section 1 (3) and Paragraph 1 (K) of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 (as amended).
Justice Idris made the pronouncement while delivering judgement in a suit filed by Metro Auto Workshop Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Muhammed Sani Yussuf (for and on behalf of all residents and business owners within the Abuja Municipal Area Council of the FCT) against the Abuja Municipal Area Council, Abuja Environmental Protection Board and others.
But reacting to the judgement, the director, DOAS, Dr. Babagana Adam, said the department was appealing the case as it finds the judgement curious and unsettling, considering that DOAS itself was not listed in the suit filed by the plaintiff.
Adam in a telephone interview with our correspondent, wondered why the agency was not given the opportunity to defend itself since its establishment was being questioned by the plaintiff.
In his words, "We find the judgement curious because we were not even served notice on the matter. As you are aware we were not listed in the suit, the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AEPB, FCT Administration, and the National Assembly were the only institutions listed as defendants in the suit. “There is nowhere in the world where you accuse a person or an entity and you don't give them the opportunity to defend themselves. So we have appealed and asked for a stay of execution."
He advised the plaintiff not rush into celebrating the judgement as the it does not nullify the DOAS, as the agency was established by a Memorandum of Understanding and local government by-law.
"This is in view of the fact that the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has already filed a Notice of Appeal challenging the said Judgment and we have strong belief that the Court of Appeal will review and upturn the judgment.
"Furthermore, the general public should take notice that the person or persons purportedly making the public notice are not parties to the said suit that will enable them to enforce or benefit from it."