The federal government regulatory agency on Inland Waterways in Nigeria, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has faulted the assertions of the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Moyosoro Onigbanjo, SAN on the subsisting judgement of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division on appeal number CA/L/886/2014, delivered on July 18, 2017.
Recall that the Lagos Attorney General, while quoting Justice Muktar JCA of the Court of Appeal lead judgement that “All other inland waterways within Lagos State are within legislative competence of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA) and revenue therein accruable to the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA)”; had stated that the LHSA is competent to make laws in respect of same.
However, NIWA in a swift response, told the Lagos Attorney General to carefully revisit the content of the judgment which he might have read in haste or inadvertently did not accord the ruling deep consideration.
NIWA boss, Dr George Moghalu, noted that contrary to the assertions of Lagos State government that the Appeal Court judgement favoured its regulation of the waterways, the court had in clear terms and without any ambiguity stated and held on page 27 of the copious judgement that ‘Items 5 in the second schedule to the NIWA Act is the relevant provision for the navigable route that falls under exclusive legislative list and it provides that the intra coastal route from Badagry, along the Badagry Creek to Lagos through Lagos lagoon to Iwopin along Omu River/Creek, Talifa kivel to Ajelete, Akata, Aboko, Oluwa River to Okitipupa and on Gbekebo, Arogbo, Ofunama Benin Creek to Warri, and also the canal running from Araromi through Aiyetoro through Mahin lagoon to Igbokoda.
Moghalu, further drew the attention of Lagos State government to the fact that the route runs through International and state boundaries and therefore is consistent with the provisions of the constitution being items on the exclusive list and which the Court of Appeal held “that revenue generated from the federal route is payable to federal Inland Waterways Authority”
The NIWA boss flagged the empathic ruling of the Court of Appeal, and challenged the Lagos State government to furnish him with intra waterways which exists in Lagos, outside item 5, second schedule of the NIWA Act.
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