Fashola has no right to ban us on federal highways – Okada riders Reviewed by Momizat on . A Lagos High Court has granted accelerated hearing into the suit filed by some commercial motorcycle operators,known as  okada riders, against the Lagos State G A Lagos High Court has granted accelerated hearing into the suit filed by some commercial motorcycle operators,known as  okada riders, against the Lagos State G Rating:
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Fashola has no right to ban us on federal highways – Okada riders

A Lagos High Court has granted accelerated hearing into the suit filed by some commercial motorcycle operators,known as  okada riders, against the Lagos State Government for banning their operations on some federal highways in the state.

The suit filed by the commercial motorcycle operators under the aegis of the All Nigerians Autobike Commercial Owners and workers Association (ANACOWA) want the court to declare Section 3(1) of the new Lagos Traffic Law, which prohibits the riding, driving or propelling of a cart, wheel barrow, motorcycle or tricycle on the major highways in Lagos, as unconstitutional.

They further asked for a declaration that the defendants have no power ‘whatsoever’ to make any law to regulate traffic on any of the Federal Trunk or Highway Roads.

They argue that restricting their operations on the said roads would violate their rights to freedom of movement, guaranteed by Section 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

The defendants in the suit are the Lagos State Government, the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr Ade Ipaye.

Presiding Justice Aishat Opesanwo however dismissed an interlocutory application which they filed to restrain the government from implementing the new Lagos State Traffic Law.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Bamidele Aturu, told the court that they were withdrawing their interlocutory application so that they could get an accelerated hearing of the main suit.

“We believe that there is a need for the court to urgently deal with this matter because it is in the interest of the generality of the populace”adding that “many of them (Okada riders) have been suffering from this draconian action of the government to restrict the motorcyclists from operating in federal high ways” stated Mr Aturu.

“We are therefore asking the court to strike out the application and grant us an accelerated hearing of the substantive suit”, he said.

In the main suit, the motorcyclists challenged the ban placed on them from plying 475 roads in the state.

Road rampage

However, the Attorney general of the State, Mr Ade Ipaye who is the third defendant and counsel to Lagos State Government, informed the court that the law was already being enforced in the state with effect from the 2nd of August 2012.

He noted that “it was in reaction to its enforcement that the claimants herein only on Monday October 22, 2012 went on rampage.”

The Attorney General also noted that the law enforcement agencies were not joined as defendants in the suit.

“They are not parties to this action and we cannot tell this honourable court that they will not do their duty in enforcing the law”, he said.

The court has however fixed the 16th of November for hearing of the substantive suit.

 

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/revnwogu Echi Nwogu

    It will be good to clear this Federal Roads and State and LG interference once and for all. We are watching and waiting. 

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CHPPRF4PGBVVHOFCUQBHWV22TE Ife Kafaru

    I am a Chronic Motorcycle user. Do not laugh at me because of my passion for you don’t know if my bike costs more than your car. Concerning this Ban of Motorcycles on 475 roads,  and I say Motorcycles because whether it is Okada or Powerbike, Agents of government choose not distinguish the difference when impounding, I think it portrays the level of immaturity and exuberance on the part of Lawmakers and Government. I read the Signed Bill and the first ten pages where poorly thought out and typed, like it was rushed to redecorate the front of a previously existing but similar write up. To me the implications of the first 3 pages is similar to racism or Xenophobe: We are the Government with the right of Force, Okadas are the targets, Tricycles and Trailers are collateral casualties. How else can I define a Law that states that the driver and passengers in a covered tricycle MUST wear crash Helmets.
    The excuses given in the past for this Law and the ban, occur with other forms of transport. There are accidents involving other forms of transport where people die and there are security incidents involving other forms of transport that claim the lives of operatives and by-standers, but the Lagos state Government chose to pick on Okada.
    I believe it is because the Okada riders are incapable of doing anything to hurt the government directly that is why the government has chosen to bully helpless masses. Assuming Okada riders developed the courage and unforgiving tenacity of Olusegun Obasanjo, that law will vanish instantly. But Okada men are as docile as they are uncivilized. Yes, I know my two wheel colleagues. Among themselves they treat one another badly on the road, but isn’t that a general Nigerian problem…? Bad Intellectual and Spiritual Orientation.
    If you ban Okadas, will it stop car owners from forming 6 lanes on a 2 lane road during a grid-lock, or the bad driving or impatience…? Has the traffic situation improved this week? Are the commuters better off…? Do commuter get to their destination on-time and with ease…?
    It is Ludicrous that I can ride my Bike across Nigeria from Kano to Ogun state but when I get to Lagos, I have to park at the toll gate to enter a LAGBUS. I though the Xenophobic mentality against Okadas was a joke while growing up in Lagos. I lived in a estate where Okadas were banned for security reasons, but it didn’t stop robberies from occurring. Now I have woken up to a Night-mare. Either the mentality must have crept in or the residents with such mentality must have sneaked into government house.
    Instead of writing a book on “the travails of Okada Man”, I would like to advise the government.Road is meant for wheels being powered by an engine to traverse upon. The edge of the road is used by Pedestrians. All fingers are not equal, and every Nigerian has a right to choose his/her form of mobility according to his/her ability.Can we therefore share the road…? We can use it side by side, cars and trucks to the left, Motorcycles, tricycles and bicycles to the right and pedestrians at the edge.If you dedicate a lane on the extreme right of a federal high-way for Motorcycles will it hurt the Government…? But the same is being done for LAGBUS.Print and distribute traffic rules and regulations to both car and motorcycle user for free if you cannot force them into driving schools.Disseminate these rules through the media. It is not only your campaign rallies that should be aired on TV and Radio. There should be Radio and TV programs dedicated to teaching good driving habits and not just to advertise some Mechanic shop or window dress LATSMA’s deficiencies.
    Regulation without Persistent Orientation will lead to chaos. Stop Vehicle Discrimination. It is similar to Racism.

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