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Port harcourt based lawyer and human right activist Somiari Joseph Ogolo(Esq). Condemns the disbandment of Timariv by Rivers State Government.


THE RIVERS STATE TRAFFIC LAW NO. 6 OF 2009 A Law to regulate road traffic and to establish the Rivers State traffic Management Authority and other matters therewith. The above law gave rise to the setting up of a body known as TIMARIV. But before i commence the discussion of this interesting topic, i will for the benefit of the uninformed, define the meaning of LAW. 
LAW according to black's dictionary, fifth edition defines law as that which is laid down, ordained or established. Law, in its generic sense, is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by the controlling authority, and having binding and legal force. Under the doctrine of separation of power, the legislature is the law making body while the executive executes those laws. TIMARIV Law is a law made by the Rivers State House of Assembly. Until that law is repealed by them, it remains the law and shall be so complied with. By the Oath of Office subscribed to by the governor, in the seventh schedule to the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of nigeria, he is duty bound to uphold the law. it reads in part, ...I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria and the Law... Interestingly, Section 40 of the TIMARIV law provides for the establishment, composition and functions of the board. Members of the board includes; A chairman who is knowledgeable in traffic matters, 3 persons to be appointed by the governor, one rep from the police, one rep from road safety, one rep from min of transport, one rep from min of urban devt, one rep from road transport workers, one rep from NULGE, one rep from min of finance, the controller general of the authority, a legal adviser and a secretary. And their functions includes: to formulate policies, review the programme of the authority, offer technical advise to the governor on traffic management, make guidelines for recruitment, remuneration, promotion, etc. MY POINT IS: Legally speaking does Wike have the power to disband TIMARIV without first getting the state house of assembly to repeal the law establishing it? The answer is likened to the president removing the immunity of the governor without recourse to the powers of the national assembly to first amend that section before doing so. If the governor intends to revamp TIMARIV, there is no problem with that, what he should have done was to set up a technical committee to advise him or dissolve the board and place a closer watch on their activities to straighten it. To unilaterally exercise powers he do not have is not only an affront on the laws of the land. but also raises doubt that as a lawyer he has respect for the rule of law. It is therefore, my opinion that he purge himself of these and operate within the confines of law. THE DISBANDMENT OF TIMARIV IS ILLEGAL AND AN INFRINGEMENT ON THE DUTIES OF THE LEGISLATURE. Why didn't he disband the Rivers State Traditioners council before amending the law setting it up? Or is it different strokes for...? Unlawfully disbanding TIMARIV is a threat to security because when you render over a 1000 staff unemployed, they add to the volume of the unemployed society and put pressure on the peace and security of the society. A stitch in time they say, saves nine! 
Somiari Ogolo writes from Port Harcourt.