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Lagos to sue TAN, others over illegal road adverts

2023: LASAA issues guidelines for election campaigns in Lagos

Lagos State Advertisement and Signage Agency (LASAA), the body responsible for the regulation of outdoor advertisements in Lagos, is instituting an action in court to challenge “illegal placement of political adverts” by the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) and other agents of the Federal Government without recourse to the laws guiding such advertisements in the state.

LASAA recently lamented the loss of over N300m by licensed advert practitioners due to the activities of TAN and others, who are taking over streetlight polls and spaces al- ready paid for by advert practitioners. There are also indications that Lagos State government may also be heading to court to stop the continued deployment of officials of SURE-P taskforce to manage traffic on Lagos roads, as well as the painting of the road kerbs in green and white colours.

According to Ade Ipaye, the state attorney/ commissioner for justice and Kayode Opeifa, his counterpart in the ministry of transport, the development is illegal and against existing highway code, which recognises contrast colours of black and white or yellow and black as statutory colours for painting of the said kerbs.

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The commissioners stated that the state government is worried that long after Governor Babatunde Fashola wrote to President Jonathan drawing his attention to the illegality of “faceless SURE-P taskforce” on Lagos roads, they were yet to be stopped. The SURE-P taskforce officials were for the fifth time, noticed on the tollgate end of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway controlling traffic.

Officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) were said to have withdrawn from the area upon noticing the SUREP taskforce officials, to avoid a possible clash between the two agencies. George Noah, managing director of LASAA, said the agency is set for the legal action this week, saying it has become necessary to put a stop to the illegality of TAN, the PDP and the Federal Government.

“We want to put an end to this for the sake of the future,” said Noah at a media briefing in Ikeja, Friday. Speaking more of the development, Ipaye said the government did not want to resort to self-help by mobilising a counter-force or fight the police, but will seek the help of the court. “We don’t believe in battle. That’s why men of LASTMA voluntarily withdrew.

In Lagos State, we are known as a state of law and order. In the past we have had serious dispute with the Federal Government but we went to court, where ‎necessary we went as far the Supreme Court. “Even sometimes when the decision of the Supreme Court’s judgement was not obeyed by the then Federal Government, we kept at it and eventually we got what was ours. So no matter the level of provocation, nobody should expect that Lagos State will set up its own force to clash with anybody. It is just not our way.”

On his part, Opeifa said that several letters had been written to the relevant federal authorities who, according to him, denied knowledge of operation of “men in black” on Lagos roads as traffic managers. Opeifa, who also decried the painting of the road kerbs in Lagos in green and white colour, said the action was professionally and legally wrong and contrary to established traffic code and colour of road marking and painting.

According to the commissioner, the colours used in painting road kerbs globally is not determined by the national colour but the well researched safety reason which enables motorists know the road demarcation while driving at anytime of the day. He added that black and white are globally accepted colours to create the contrast needed to achieve the safety effect.