Appeal Court Stops VIO from Asking for Roadworthiness Certificate


Appeal Court stops VIO from asking for Roadworthiness Certificate

By Micheal Ovie

….says private cars dont need is

In a landmark judgement, the Appeal Court has brought a stop to demands by Vehicle Inspection Officers, (VIOs) from demanding for Road Worthiness Certificates


The Court in Asaba ruled that private car owners doesn’t need roadworthiness certificate issued by Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO).

An official of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) has challenged the powers of VIOs to demand for the certificate from private car owners, a command practice in Nigeria.

A High Court in Ughelli had ruled earlier that the VIOs had no such powers.

Irohinoodua correspondent on Delta stated heard that Justice Joseph Eyo Ekanem On 12th March 2021 delivered the judgment in appeal NO: CA/B/333/2017.

He submitted that there was no merit in the Appeal.


The Certified True Copy of the judgment sighted by TheNigeriaLawyer, stated that the VIOs were wrong to make such demands

The ruling stated “Before drawing the curtain on this judgment, I need to remind public bodies and public officers that a public body or public officer vested with statutory power must take care not to exceed or abuse its or his power. It or he must keep within the limits of the authority committed to it. This is to prevent arbitrariness and the rule of man rather than the rule of law.

It stated that “The Vehicle Inspection Officers went beyond the powers vested in them by the Law and the RTR. Hence, they violently use the power to stop the private vehicle of the Respondent on a public highway. They used menacing tactics and dangerous implements to demand a certificate of roadworthiness which the vehicle in question should not have. Such conduct sends a wrong signal to the citizens who may adopt such strong-arm tactics to settle disputes.”

The Appeal Court ruled that a private motor vehicle is a motor vehicle belonging to a particular person. It further noted that the set of cars is for particular person or group in carrying their personal effects. However, it is not for public use or for hire or reward.

Henceforth it is wrong to impound a private motor vehicle for not having or carrying hackney license or stage carriage license because it has it as two of the particulars for which any vehicle impoundment for not having.

The Appeal Court, therefore, awarded the cost of N200,000 against the Appellants.


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