The Lagos state government has appealed the court judgment nullifying the restriction of movement during the monthly sanitation exercise in the state.
On Monday, Ibrahim Idirs, a judge of a federal high court in Lagos, declared the restriction a violation of human rights.
But Ade Ipaye, the state attorney-general and commissioner for justice, described the ruling as unfair.
“We are, of course, not satisfied with that decision of the federal high court looking at the density of Lagos being the highest population in Nigeria,” he said.
“This exercise and our sanitation programme in general have made Lagos the envy of other states, many of whom have sent their officials to understudy it.
“We strongly believe that it is a necessary rule in a society such as ours. We are therefore filing an appeal immediately.”
Lawal Pedro, the state’s solicitor-general, said a notice of appeal has been filed. He argued that Idris did not consider other provisions under the law before delivering his judgment.
“The court is deemed to know and is obliged to consider all relevant provisions of the Constitution and existing laws before arriving at its judgment,” he said.
“The above provisions of the constitution and the law of Lagos state provide for the performance of normal communal or civic obligation for the well-being of the community.
“The public health of the community therefore overrides the personal interest of the applicant.”
He further said that the sanitation was part of the civil responsibility under the environmental law of Lagos state and also a part of the democratic responsibility of the government.
“The environmental sanitation law of Lagos state is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society in the interest of public health and therefore valid,” he said.
“The jurisdiction of the federal high court is limited to those matters provided for in section 251 of the constitution.
“The special jurisdiction of the federal high court for enforcement of fundamental human right is also limited to those matters the federal high court has been conferred with jurisdiction under Section 251 of the constitution.
“The subject matter of the application, being environmental sanitation in Lagos State, is not within the jurisdiction of the federal high court to adjudicate.”
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a human rights activist and lawyer, had filed a suit seeking to stop the restriction on the ground that there was no law in force in the state restricting movement of persons for the purpose of observing environmental sanitation.