A legal practitioner, Olukoya Ogungbeje, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos to challenge the ban imposed by the state government on the operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as okada, and tricycles otherwise known as keke.
Ogungbeje asked the court to declare that the ban, as issued in February by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was not backed by any court order as it “grossly violates Section 41 of the Constitution.”
He also urged the court to make a perpetual injunction restraining the Lagos State government from enforcing the ban.
The lawyer specifically asked the court to award N500 million as general and exemplary damages against the state for the alleged violation of citizens’ rights.
Apart from the state government, he joined the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Unit, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, the state’s Attorney-General; the Commissioner of Police in Lagos; the Vehicle Inspection Service; and the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, as defendants in the suit.
Ogungbeje, who argued that the ban had visited untold hardship on him and other law-abiding Nigerians living in Lagos, prayed the court to declare that “the forceful impounding, seizure or confiscation of motorcycles and tricycles” by agents of the state government amounted to an infringement on the right of residents to own property under Sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution.
He also asked the court to declare that the power given to agents of the state, under the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law 2018, to arrest and punish violators of the ban was equivalent to the usurpation of the functions of the judiciary, “and is thus a gross infringement on the right to a fair hearing and human dignity under Sections 36 and 34 of the Constitution.”
The case has been assigned to Justice Mohammed Liman who has fixed September 28, 2020, for hearing.
Ahead of the May 4th expiration of the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government on Lagos State, Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Lagos State Government has introduced a strict framework for movement and re-opening of businesses.
The set of new guidelines, according to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his ninth briefing at the State House in Marina on Wednesday, are to safeguard the gains which the State had made in the past four weeks in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
From next Monday, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government will be implementing the dusk-to-dawn curfew announced by President Muhammadu Buhari last Monday as part of the phased measures to reduce risk of contagion of the COVID-19 disease among the residents and to consolidate on the response strategy deployed to combat the pandemic.
The Governor’s new framework made fundamental changes to public transportation system and business dealings at corporate offices, local markets and malls.
All passenger buses are not permitted to load to full capacity, Sanwo-Olu ordered in the new guidelines. All commercial vehicles, the Governor said, must carry maximum of 60 per cent of full capacity and their drivers must use face mask and observe other prescribed hygiene tips.
The Governor also suspended the operation of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, across the state, with the exception of those used for courier and logistics purposes.
Sanwo-Olu directed the drivers of tricycles (Keke NAPEP) operating in unrestricted areas not to carry more than two passengers per trip, adding that the passengers must keep appropriate distance.
Besides, food handlers at public eateries and restaurants have been mandated by the State Government to wear masks and hand gloves at all times, especially during the preparation and serving of foods.
Only take-out meals and delivery services will be permitted at eateries and restaurants, Sanwo-Olu ordered, warning that in-dining services will not be allowed at the moment.
The Governor said all businesses that will re-open next week must operate between the hours of 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The new directive on business operating hours affects all corporate firms, banks, malls and local markets.
He said: “Following the culmination of the second phase of the lockdown on Lagos, Ogun and the FCT, and the nationwide address by President Muhammadu Buhari, it has become imperative for me to address our residents and to share a broader framework for the implementation of the President’s directives here in Lagos.
“There will be a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am daily. This means that we expect all Lagos residents to stay in their homes in these hours, except those in essential services.
“All commuters are mandated to wear face masks at all times, sanitise with alcohol-based sanitizer or wash their hands with soap and running water before and after of every trip. All motor parks and garages must avoid overcrowding. Social distancing is required for passengers queuing up to board buses.
“All buses should be loaded to a maximum of 60 per cent of full capacity. No standing allowed in all BRT and LBSL bus operations. All air- conditioning systems in public transport systems must be switched off.
“Commercial Motorcycles, popularly known as Okadas, are to suspend their operations statewide, except for those motorcycles used for courier and logistics purposes. Tricycles (Kekes) operating in unrestricted areas, must not carry more than two passengers per trip and must ensure appropriate social distancing is maintained between passengers.”
In addition, the Governor announced the restriction of operating hours of water transportation companies to the period between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm daily.
He said under no circumstance should vehicles carrying food items have more than seven passengers.
All public and private schools from primary level to tertiary education must remain closed, Sanwo-Olu directed. He said online classes and lessons that had already been started must continue until further notice.
The Governor added that businesses will be allowed to operate within “Controlled Easing Phase” framework, clarifying that the expiration of the lockdown was not a directive for the full reopening of the economy.
“It is a gradual and controlled easing of the lockdown. We will continue to monitor the public health situation; the economic impact of the lockdown and always adjust our responses accordingly,” the Governor said.
The Governor acknowledged the role of banking sector in sustaining the economy, urging banks to open all their branches and offer full complement of their services to the public. He, however, said banking operations must fall within the stipulated hours of 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, adding that banks’ managements must ensure regular cleaning and decontamination of their ATM machines and devices regularly used by the public.
He said: “Companies that choose to operate within this Controlled Easing Phase are to operate between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. They are also directed to operate at a maximum of 60 per cent of their staff capacity. Some non-essential workers can continue to work online and remotely from the office. Online and work-from-home arrangements are highly encouraged to continue as much as is practicable.
“All entertainment centres, such as event centres, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, day clubs, nightclubs and beaches shall remain closed till further notice. Swimming pools, gyms, barber-shops, Spas, beauty salons, and all public parks, including those in private and residential estates, will continue to remain closed for another two weeks in the instance, at which point we will review and advise on the permissible opening date for these establishments.”
Sanwo-Olu said the Government’s whistleblower channels would be fully opened to report companies that would flout the new directives. He said whistleblowers would be guaranteed full protection and their identities will be kept strictly confidential.
The Governor also announced that he would inaugurate a Committee on Thursday, which will comprise representatives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Private Transport Operators, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), and the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.
The committee, he said, will be charged with the responsibility of communicating the new State Government’s framework to their members for ease of implementation and compliance.
She also directed that with immediate effect, all commercial buses operating in the state will not carry more than two passengers in a row.
While the state did not specify how long the ban will last, there have been mixed reactions from commercial tricycle operators.
Some have commended the action, noting that it is for the safety and good of every citizen of the state, but have also lamented that the ban will affect their means of livelihood and by extension bring untold hardship upon their families.
The Deputy Governor maintained that according to reports from the 27 general hospitals in the state, an average of 28 deaths related to motorcycles were recorded on an average every month.
“We have 27 general hospitals in Lagos, on the average monthly, 28 deaths related to motorcycles.
“The issue of crime, we now found out that the tricycle and motorcycles are now the vehicles for transporting drugs to our schools; so the security of lives, the prosperity of our children cannot just be ignored.
“We cannot as a state government, see this data and say that it is not important. The essence is to make sure that everybody that resides in Lagos is secure,” he stressed.
Mr. Hamzat reiterated earlier positions of the state government that the move to ban Okada and Keke is not to punish or restrict people from doing any job.
“The essence is not to punish anybody, or to restrict people from doing any job but you have to be alive before you can make money.
“The reality is people are dying, the security of our children is being compromised, so Lagos government must act and that is what we are doing,” he maintained.
The Lagos State Government says it will not reverse the ongoing enforcement of its Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018, which restricts the operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada and tricycles, popularly known as Keke NAPEP in 15 local councils across the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this on Tuesday while speaking at the official launch of commercial operations in water transportation by Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) at an event held at Badore Ferry Terminal in Ajah.
The governor said the state government would not give in to the “blackmail and uninformed criticism” of its decision to restrict tricycles and motorcycles on the highways, saying the enforcement became necessary in the face of growing threats to the security of lives of residents.
According to him, the scary figures of accidents resulting from Okada riders’ recklessness and the disobedience to traffic laws necessitated the enforcement of the laws.
Although the governor admitted that the decision was a tough one, he maintained that his government would not compromise on the issue of security and safety of residents.
“I agree it’s a tough decision we made regarding the restriction of Okada and Keke in some parts of Lagos. But I want to say some facts, which people can debate. The restriction that we have done is primarily based on security and safety of lives of residents. We took the decision based on the level of danger we have seen to have happened to our people,” he said.
“As a responsible government, we will not fold our arms and allow Okada riders put our lives in danger. One life is more important to us than all the economic benefits to be made if we allowed them to continue. We understand that investment too can be critical, but keeping people alive and safe is more germane.”
Speaking further, the governor sympathized with commuters affected by the Okada restriction and announced that the government would be deploying over 500 buses to the routes listed in the restriction directive as alternatives to ease movement.
He added that the launching of commercial operations on waterways by LAGFERRY was another programme introduced by the government to address congestion on the highways.
The Lagos State government has decried the rate of motorcycle (okada) and tricycle (keke) accidents on roads across the state.
In order to check this, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, announced that the government would enforce the ban on motorcycles and tricycles in six local government areas, as well as major highways and bridges from February 1.
He explained that the decision was taken after a robust assessment of the debate on the rate of accidents in Lagos, saying security and safety of the lives of the residents were paramount.
“The figures are scary. From 2016 to 2019, there were over 10,000 accidents recorded at the General Hospitals alone.
“This number excludes unreported cases and those recorded by other hospitals. The total number of deaths from reported cases is over 600 as at date,” the commissioner said in a statement.
He added, “The rate of crimes aided by motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (keke) keeps rising. Motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (keke) are also used as getaway means by criminals.”
According to Omotoso, the law enforcement agents have been directed that with effect from February 1, there would be Zero Tolerance for motorcycles and tricycles in the affected areas.
He warned that all offenders and violators would be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the state.
See the full list of the affected areas below:
LGs and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs)
Apapa LG and Apapa Iganmu LCDA
Lagos Mainland LG and Yaba LCDA
Surulere LG, Itire-Ikate and Coker-Aguda LCDAs
Ikeja LG, Onigbongbo and Ojodu LCDAs
Eti-Osa LG, Ikoyi-Obalende and Iru/Victoria Island LCDAs
Lagos Island LG and Lagos Island East LCDA
The full enforcement begins on February 1, 2020.
This is the first stage of the State Government’s plan to sanitize our roads and protect Lagosians from the negative effects of these illegal modes of transportation.
The Law is very clear. Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke) are banned on all highways, bridges and the listed roads.
The Lagos State government has placed a ban on motorcycles and tricycles popularly known as ‘okada’ and ‘keke,’ in various local government areas of the state.
In the restriction order sent to Channels Television on Monday, the government asked motorcycle and tricycle operators to refrain from operating on major roads in Lagos.
The order, captioned “Lagos Govt Has Banned Okada and Keke Marwa From Plying The Roads … Be Warned’, also listed highways and bridges as routes where motorcycles and tricycles movement were restricted.
See the full list of roads, highways, and bridges affected below:
Lagos Ibadan Expressway
Apapa Oshodi Expressway
Oworoshoki Oshodi Expressway
Lagos Ikorodu Expressway
Lagos Abeokuta Expressway
Eti-Osa Lekki Epe Expressway
Lagos Badagry Express
Funsho Williams Avenue
Agege motor Road
Eti-Osa Lekki Coastal Road
Iyana-Ipaja Bridge, Agege/Alimosho Local Government
Dopemu Bridge, Agege/Alimosho Local Government
Airport/Ikeja Bridge, Ikeja Local Government
Agege Motor Road/Oshodi Loop, Oshodi, Ikeja/Mushin Local Government
Mushin/Isolo Link Bridge, Mushin Oshodi Local Government
Dorman Long Bridge Surulere/Lagos Mainland Local Government
Ojuelegba Bridge, Surulere/Lagos Mainland Local Government
National Stadium Flyover, Surulere Local Government
Iganmu/Funsho Williams Bridge Surulere Local Government
Apapa – Iganmu Bridge Surulere Local Government
Apapa – Ijora Link Bridge, Apapa/Lagos Mainland Local Government
Liverpool Bridge, Apapa, Apapa Local Government
Mile 2 Bridge Loop, Amuwo-Odofin, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government
Okota (Cele)/Ijesha Link Bridge Mushin/Oshodi-Isolo Local Government
Apakun/Apapa-Oshodi Bridge Network, Mushin/Oshodi/Isolo Local Government
Ikorodu Road/Anthony Cloverleaf Bridge Somolu/Ikeja Local Government
Trade Fair Flyover Bridge, Ojo Local Government
Festac/Amuwo-Odofin Link Bridge Amuwo Odofin Local Government
2 Flyover bridges along Alhaji Masha Rd, Surulere Local Government
Ojota Clover Leaf Bridge, Kosofe/Ikeja Local Government
Ogudu Bridge Kosofe Local Government
3rd Mainland Bridge Lagos Island/Mainland/Somolu Local Government
Maryland flyover Ikeja/Somolu Local Government
Ikeja/General Hospital flyover Bridge Ikeja Local Government
Kodesho Bridge, Oba Akran, Ikeja, Ikeja Local Government
Opebi Link Bridge, Ikeja Local Government
Sheraton-Opebi Bridge, Ikeja Local Government
Jibowu/Yaba flyover Bridge, Lagos Mainland Local Government
Carter Bridge Lagos, Lagos Mainland Local Government
Bariga-Ifako Bridge Somolu/Kosofe Local Government
Apapa – OShodi Expressway/Alapere Bridge Somolu/Kosofe Local Government
Bariga/Oworonshoki Bridge Somolu/Kosofe Local Government
Apapa – Oshodi Expressway/3rd Mainland Bridge Somolu/Kosofe Local Government
Apapa – Oshodi Expressway/3rd mainland Bridge Somolu/Kosofe Local Government
3rd mainland/Oworonshoki Bridge Kosofe Local Government
Eko Bridge Lagos Island/Lagos Mainland Local Government
Apongbon flyover, Bridge Lagos Island Local Government
Cowry Bridge (Officers Mess) Lagos Island/Eti-Osa Local Government.
McWen Bridge (Bonny camp) Eti-Osa Local Government.
Marina/Ikoyi Bridge Lagos Island/Eti-Osa Local Government.
Ikoyi/Obalende Bridge Eti-Osa Local Government.
AGEGE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Oba Ogunji Road
Old Abeokuta Road
Alfa Nla Road
Adebisi Awosoga Street
Old Ota Road
Akin Doherty Road
Pen Cinema Round About
AJEROMI-IFELODUN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Baale Adeyemo Street
Mba/Cardoso Street up to Ota Wharf
Mobile Road Up To Boundary Road
Boundary Road – Aiyeke Bridge – Tolu Bus/Stop
Achapo Road/New Road
Baale Adeyemo Road
APAPA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Kofo Abayomi Road
Entire Network of Road in Apapa GRA
Dock Yard Road
Ladipo Oluwole Road
Orile – Igamu Road
ALIMOSHO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Ipaja – Ayobo Road
Egbeda – Idimu Road
Egbeda – Akowonjo Road
Iyana – Ipaja – Idimu Road
Idimu – Ipaja – Idimu Road
LASU – Iba Road
Ikotun – Egbe Road
Egbe – Idimu Road
Old Ota Road
Baruwa/Aina Obembe Road
Adefemi Road, Ipaja
Go ye Road
AMUWO-ODOFIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Oshodi – Apapa Expressway
Durbar Road/Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Road
The Entire Network of Roads in Festac Town
The entire Network of Road in Zones A, B, C & D of Amuwo Odofin Low Cost Housing Estate
Old Ojo Road
Mumuni Adio Bodmus way
Lagos Badagry Expressway
BADAGRY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Lagos Badagry Expressway from Eric Moore to Seme Road
Badagry Roundabout to Top Road
Joseph Dosu Road
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT (CBD) ROADS
Nnamdi Azikwe Street
King George V Road
Adeniji Adele Street
New Balogun Street
Abibu Oki Street
EPE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Central Mosque Road
Kasali Oluwa Street
Ijebu to Itoikin Road from Agbowa to Itoikin
Omu-Ijebu to Ketu Roundabout
Ketu Roundabout to Ejinrin Town
Orungbo – Ido Road
Agbowa – Ikosi Road
Ketu Roundabout to Epe
Ketu Roundabout Itoikin
ETI-OSA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
The entire Network of Roads and bridges in Ikoyi Obalende and Victoria Island Local Council Development Areas
Eti-Osa – Lekki – Epe Expressway
IFAKO-IJAYE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA/OJODU/OJOKORO LOCAL COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT AREA
Lateef Jakande Road
Jonathan Coker Street
New Oko-Oba Road
Lagos Abeokuta Expressway
Baale Animashaun Road
Yaya Abatan Road
IKEJA LOCA GOVERNMENT AREA
Lagos Ibadan Expressway (from Lagos Boundary to Lagos and Toll Gate)
Sheraton Link Bridge
Oba Akran Avenue
Obafemi Awolowo Way
Kudirat Abiola Road
Moboloaji Bank-Anthony Road
Lateef Jakande Road
Nurudeen Olowopopo Drive
Otunba Jobi Fele Way
Mobolaji Johnson Road
Hakeem Balogun Road
Ashabi Cole Street
Entire Ikeja GRA Road Network
Isaac John Street
Alausa Secretariat Perimeter Road Network
Simbiat Abiola Road
Opebi Link Bridge
Adeniyi Jones Avenue
Entire Alausa CBO
Ladipo Oluwole Avenue
Ola Ayindan Street
Olu Akerele Street
IKORODU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Ikorodu Road (from Mile12 to Ikorodu Benson Roundabout)
Ipakodo – Ibesha Road
Lagos – Ikorodu Express Road
T.O.S Benson Road
Oba Sekumade Road
Lagos – Shagamu Road
Obafemi Awolowo Road
Ikorodu – Itoikin Road
IKOYI/OBALENDE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Alfred Rewane Road
Osborne Road Estate 1 & 2
Olu Holloway Road
Bayo Kuku Street
Oba Adeyinka Oyekan Avenue
Mobolaji Johnson Road
Federal Secretariat Road
Lateef Jakande Avenue
Oyinkan Abayomi Road
Adeyemi Lawson Street
Femi Okunnu Road
Ajayi Bembe Street
Entire Park view Estate Road
St. Gregory Street
Raymond Njoku Street
Okotie Eboh Street
Norman Williams Street
Moboloaji Johnson Road
Murtala Muhammed Roa
Bankole Oki Road
Dolphin High Rise
Alhaji Kannike Street
Dr Bode Olajumoke Street
Alhaji Bashorun Close
Alhaji Alade Odenewu Street
KOSOFE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Ogudu Alapere Expressway (from Toll Gate to 3rd Mainland Bridge)
Doyin Omololu Street
50 Metres from Ikorodu Road on Ikosi Road
LAGOS ISLAND AREA
The entire network of roads and bridges in Lagos Island East and Lagos Island West Local Government
LAGOS MAINLAND LGA
Herbert Macaulay Way
Barikisu Iyede Street
Murtala Muhammed way
Third Mainland Bridge
Old Yaba Road
Sabo Round About
Abule – Ijesha Road
Onike Iwaya Road
Musiliu Smith Road
MUSHIN /ODI-OLOWO AREA
Agege Motor Road (From Mangoro to Moshalasi Junction) Both
Fatai Atere Way(Okada Only)
Itire Road(Okada Only)
Ladipo Street(Okada Only)
Layi Oyekanmi Street(Okada Only)
Olateju Street(Okada Only)
Ilasamanja Road(Okada Only)
Ogunmokun Street(Okada Only)
Kayode Street(Okada Only)
Town Planning Way(Both)
Post Office Road(Okada Only)
OJO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Igbo Elerin Road
Lagos – Badagry Expressway
Iyana School Bus Stop at Ishasi Road
Oba Ayoka to Iba New Site
Alaba Int’l Market Raod
Ojo Igbede Road
Abule Aka Road to Ajangbadi Road
Itire – Ilogbo Road
Iyana Era – Ilogbo Road
Ajangbadi – Shibiri Road
OSHODI/ISOLO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Oshodi – Apapa expressway
Ejigbo – Ajao Estate Link Road
Estate – Isheri-Oshun Road
Post Office Road
Sehinde Callisto Street
New Airport Road
SOMOLU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
IKORODU EXPRESSWAY (From Mile 12 to Yaba Terminus)
Residents of Umuahia and its environs in Abia State have called on the Police to beef up security within the city and the highways.
The troubled inhabitants also asked the Police to put up strategies to monitor the activities of tricycle operators popularly known as Keke and their passengers.
Although, the people are willingly to do their part by offering information, one of the residents, Morgan Odikemere, maintained that the Police should be more proactive.
Speaking with Channels Television in Umuahia, the Abia State capital in Southeast Nigeria, the Commissioner of Police, Joshak Habila, hinted that the command was not leaving any stone unturned in its commitment to rid the state of criminals and mischief makers.
He assured the residents of adequate security and urged them to be cognisant of their environments and report any unwarranted loitering within their domain.
The Police commissioner also disclosed that four suspected kidnappers within the ages of 20-30 years were killed by men of the Abia State Police Command during gunfire exchange while trying to abduct a businessman.
He said the incident, which took place at Okpuala-Ngwa, also led to the recovery of some deadly weapons such as guns amongst others.
According to Mr Habila, strategy “had been put in place to monitor the activities of criminals who use keke to perpetuate their crime”, warning that the police would not relent in maintenance of peace and order.