Court hears suit against Lagos State government over residents’ registration
Justice Yellin Bogoro of a Federal High Court, Lagos, has fixed April 19, 2023, for hearing of a suit filed by a group, Initiative for Golden Rule of Life Advocacy, asking the court to declare that the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) law is illegal and unconstitutional.
The group, in the suit filed by Mr. Oluwole Kehinde, is praying the court for a declaration that Lagos State has no power, legal right or responsibility to register Nigerians that reside in it.
National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Attorney-General of Lagos State and LASRRA were joined as first to third respondents respectively.
BUT responding, Lagos State government is praying the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction, saying that the plaintiff does not have locus standi to institute the case.
It stated that the subject matter of the suit is not within the jurisdiction of the court as provided in Section 251 of the 1999 Constitution (as altered). The group is, however, praying the court for an order setting any registration of and/or issuance of identity cards to Nigerians resident in Lagos State, including members of the plaintiff, by the Lagos State Government pursuant to the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency Law, or any law whatsoever, as same is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
RESPONDING, Lagos State government is praying the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction, saying that the plaintiff does not have locus standi to institute the case. It stated that the subject matter of the suit is not within the jurisdiction of the court as provided in Section 251 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
However, the Lagos State government stated: “This action by its nature is a challenge to the constitutionality of the law enacted by the House of Assembly of Lagos State and therefore not one of the matters within the judicial competence of the Federal High Court as conferred by Section 251 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The matter before the court is not related to the validity of any executive or administrative action or decisions by the Federal Government, or any of its agencies.
“That second and third defendants are not agencies of the Federal Government as well as that the matter before the court relates to determination of the validity and constitutionality of a state law.”
It further stated that LASSRA Law 2011 makes provision for registration of residents in Lagos State to ensure easy identification of residents and to provide reliable information for making policy, planning and implementation.