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Trouble For Lagos State Govt As Traders At Alaba Rago Market, Okada Transport Union Drags Them To Court - EastWestReporters - A Place for News | Politics | Sports | Entertainment | Business
Home NewsBusiness Trouble For Lagos State Govt As Traders At Alaba Rago Market, Okada Transport Union Drags Them To Court

Trouble For Lagos State Govt As Traders At Alaba Rago Market, Okada Transport Union Drags Them To Court

by Anita Ogona

The Trustees of Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria under the auspices of commercial motorcycle riders union has dragged the Lagos State government before the Federal High Court in Lagos over ban of its activities in Six LGAs And Nine LCDC

The Trustees of Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria (MTUN) and others are praying for a declaration that the ban on okada is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

Other applicants in the suit are Comrade Peter Umoh, Pastor Tony Onuoha, David Abiona, Adebayo Oluwasegun, Gambo Muhammed, Yakubu Abubakar, Ayo Boluwade, Amaechi Peter and Nwamiri Monday.

The rest are Abayomi Adegbite, Oluwaseyi Funmi, Mohammed Kadi, Abdullahi Jigla, Nora Usman, Pastor Emmanuel Donatus, Sanni Abubakar and Nwibo Sunday.

Lagos Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Task Force, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and Commissioner for Transport, Lagos State are the defendants.

In the suit numbered FHC/L/CS/1016/2022, the applicants are praying the court for a declaration that the “purported proposed ban of the commercial motorcycle transportation in Lagos State by the governor, without hearing from the operators whose rights are affected or likely to be affected is a violation of the constitutional rights of the applicants to fear hearing, provided for and encapsulated in Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.”

The applicants are also praying for a declaration that the ban of the business of commercial motorcycle transportation in Lagos by the government “is a violation of the rights of the applicants guaranteed by Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution as amended who cannot be alive without food and other means of sustenance and whose income is the business of commercial motorcycle transportation.”

In the alternative, they are praying the court to grant an order compelling the government to provide jobs for the teeming commercial motorcycle riders in the state.

In the affidavit in support of the application, sworn to by one Pastor Emmanuel Donatus, the deponent averred that he and other operators had no means of sustenance apart from the business of Okada.

They prayed the government to restrict Okada operations on major highways to “approved areas”, rather than banning their operations.

He also averred that during the regime of the former governor, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, his union was engaged by the government on how to regulate their operation in the state, including issuing identification cards to members and others.

He averred that by regulating the activities and operations of the riders, motorcycle related crimes will be reduced. The suit is yet to be assigned. (Saturday Tribune)

However the  Traders at the Alaba Rago market have also dragged the Lagos State Government and Inspector General of Police (IGP) before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi over the quit notice issued to them and demanded N50 million compensation for allegedly tagging them as Hausa/Fulani.

The traders, in the case with suit Non. FHC/C/CS/956/22, said that of all the ethnic groups that occupied the Alaba International Market, the Lagos state government through its agencies singled out those of Northern extractions for eviction from the market.

According to them, the quit notice is discriminatory and a breach of the Applicant’s fundamental right as guaranteed by Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

In the document obtained by The Guild on Wednesday, four traders, HusaiiI Lajawa, Hamisu Mansur, Muhammed Aminu and a cleric, J.T. Assan, were listed as applicants while the Commander, Lagos Rapid Response Squad (RRS), and Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) were among the respondents.

Among the reliefs which the applicants were seeking before the court include a declaration that the removal notice pasted only on the applicants at the market, who were Nigerian of the Hausa/Fulani extraction, on the basis of their tribe while none was served on the Igbo and Yoruba who occupies Alaba International Market and Tanzan Market respectfully was discriminatory.

“An Order of Injunction restraining the respondents from removing the applicants from their market at Alaba Rago Market, Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State without any alternative. “A declaration that the removal notice pasted on the applicants’ property at the market who are Nigeria of the Hausa/Fulani extraction without any justifiable reason and thereby denying the Applicants of their means of livelihood and in breach of the Applicants Fundamental Right to life as provided and guaranteed under Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Although no date has been fixed for the suit, as gathered, counsels to the traders, O.K. Salawu and S.A. Salaudeen, have served the respondents, to notify them on the need to get prepared for legal battle in the state.

The suit came barely two weeks after the state government through the RRS issued the quit notice, claiming that the move was to end criminal activities prevalent around the axis.

According to the Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Olayinka Egbeyemi, who led the team, the vacation order was in the best interest of the residents of the community.

He stated that emerging security reports from the area had shown that Alaba Rago has become a den of criminals which also prompted the decision.

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