Kogi Stakeholders Demand Repeal Of KOTRAMA Law
AREWA AGENDA – Stakeholders in the transportation sector have urged Kogi State House of Assembly to repeal the law establishing Kogi State Transport Management Agency (KOTRAMA) following the discovery that it has become a thorn in the flesh of motor owners.
The call was made at a public hearing conducted by the state assembly committee on public complaints held at its complex on Hassan Katsina Road, Lokoja, Kogi State.
The laws were examined in the process including the law establishing the agency, the constitution, power to control traffic, trials and imposition of fines on traffic offenders amongst others.
The public hearing led by the committee chairman, Hon Cosmas Atabor, representing Igala/Mela Odolu x-rayed KOTRAMA activities and its constitutional powers, through separate memoranda by the stakeholders with the aim to correct the abnormalities.
Kogi State based lawyer, Barr Dele Suru in his memorandum faulted the agency’s style of operations like the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC, by imposing fines on traffic offenders and generating revenue.
Suru averred the FRSC law superceded that of the State and that of FRSC fines imposed on traffic offenders were usually collected on the spot.
“KOTRAMA is not a judicial organisation to perform judicial functions, therefore it cannot impose fines, unless there’s a mobile court to hear the other person’s view on any offence”.
Mr Idris Ozovehe, a civil rights activist, who aligned with the position of Barr Suru, queried why revenue generation had been prioritized than the safety KOTRAMA was designed for.
According to him, private vehicle owners were being harassed even when the agency was only proposed in law and not yet in existence.
The commissioner for transportation, Mr Baron Okwoli, submitted that Kogi had a peculiar case of being at cross roads over the agency.