Is the Imposition of Fines by Regulatory Agencies without recourse to the Court unconstitutional?
One of the enforcement techniques utilized by regulatory agencies to ensure compliance by individuals and entities within the purview of their enabling laws, is the imposition of fines.
These fines which are imposed in instances of non-compliance, omission, or failure to undertake an act within a stipulated period are often backed by law and have long become an effective deterrence tool deployed by regulatory agencies to induce adherence. In recent times however, there have been debates surrounding the powers of certain Regulators to impose fines.
The recent decision of the Court of Appeal, Calabar Judicial Division, in the case of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) v. Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (Mobil) – Unreported- Appeal no. CA/C/244/2017 (NOSDRA’s Case) delivered on Thursday, March 22, 2018 has yet again, resuscitated this debate.
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