The Federal Government on Monday said Lagos State Government did not obtain the approval of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to construct the Lekki-Ikoyi Suspension Bridge.
The Federal Government said this in a counter-affidavit filed before a Federal High Court, Lagos, by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and NIWA in a suit instituted by a lawyer, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa.
Mr. Olu-Adegboruwa filed the suit to challenge the propriety of the construction of the bridge and imposition of tolls on its users by the state government.
The AGF, NIWA, the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State Attorney-General are respondents in the suit; and Justice Saliu Saidu on Monday fixed December 5 for hearing.
In their joint counter-affidavit dated August 7, the AGF and NIWA maintained that the only option available to the state government was to have sought written permission from NIWA to use the lagoon for the construction.
The counter-affidavit deposed to and filed on behalf of AGF and NIWA, by their counsel, Queen Ubah, stated that the law conferred on NIWA exclusive authority over “navigable waterways, inland waterways, river ports, including the Lagos and Lekki Lagoon, upon which the bridge was constructed”.
Contrary to the contention of the Lagos State Government and its Attorney-General in their own counter-affidavit dated February 1, the AGF and NIWA denied that Federal Government agencies were notified of the bridge design.
The state government in their own counter-affidavit had stated that the regulation of inland waterways in Nigeria had always been within the regulatory control of the state governments. (NAN)