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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lagos to ban smoking in public places


FasholaThe Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, on Monday said the state government would ban smoking in public places.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria that the provisions of the new traffic laws had prohibited people from drinking or smoking while driving in the state.

Ipaye said though the new law was aimed at reducing road carnage, it was also part of the government’s plans to ban smoking in public places.
 He said, “It is an offence to smoke while driving, smoking is totally prohibited for drivers; obviously it is not just for safety reasons it is also for health reasons because we are moving towards banning smoking in all public places.
 “It is an offence to drive drunk; if you’ve been taking drugs, this law provides for blood test to determine whether you have ingested drugs which are inconsistent with your ability to drive.
 “So, this law makes it an offence to drive without a driver’s licence, without proper plate numbers. It is an offence to use the phone while you are driving except you have hands-free set so you don’t need to put the set to your ear.’’
Ipaye said the government decided to “criminalise” traffic offences and sanction offenders, as part of the strategy to bring the chaotic traffic situation within the metropolis under control.
 He said, “We are keeping the roads in good repairs, but still, we have problems, and that problem is made worse by commercial motorcycles, by cart pushers, by even people rearing cattle.
 “There seem all of a sudden to be no rules; people just disobey the traffic lights.”
 Meanwhile, lawyers in the state have reacted to the new Parks and Garden Law.
The law made it mandatory for landlords to beautify the perimeter of their properties or face punishment.
The lawyers described the new law as an attempt to impoverish Lagosians.
A legal practitioner, Mr Spurgeon Ataene, said the law was obnoxious and oppressive.
He said  government did not have the right to punish landlords for not beautifying their property.
Another lawyer, Mr Ogedi Ogu, said the law was against natural justice, equity and good conscience