We are ready to implement new traffic Law – Lagos CP

The Lagos State Security Council met Wednesday at the Lagos House Marina under the Chairmanship of the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), with the Police pledging their readiness to begin full enforcement of the law and warning that in the process, nobody would be spared.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abubakar Umar Manko

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abubakar Umar Manko, who gave the indication  after the meeting, said the delay in enforcement was in order to allow for public enlightenment and all other requirements to be put in place to ensure easy compliance by members of the public.

Fielding questions from newsmen after the meeting, the Police boss explained, “Since the Governor signed it, it has become law. The fact that it has not been massively enforced does not mean that it is not in existence. So we have just finished a meeting. Everybody now knows there is a new law and that law is going to be fully enforced”.

According to the Commissioner, “Government has done its part, public enlightenment has been made, road repairs are going on and there are traffic signs everywhere, therefore, no citizen has the right to say that he does not know. The Police are going to start the enforcement in full and nobody is going to be spared”.

Promising that members of his Command would not disobey the law, Manko declared, “We are going to start full enforcement and we expect compliance to this law from everybody. The contents have been made public, so excuse of ignorance of the law is no more there”.

On “MBER” months, the Commissioner, who described them as no different from other months of the year, said although there may be some challenges the Police was fully prepared and would come out en masse to ensure that public peace was not disturbed.

Okada riders sue Lagos state government over new traffic law

Commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada riders on Monday dragged the Lagos State Government to court over its new Road Traffic Law, part of which restricts their operations on major highways across the state.

The okada riders under the aegis of All Nigerians Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association, is seeking an order of court restraining the state government from prohibiting them from operating on the major highways listed in Items 1-11 and other parts of Schedule II of the New Traffic Law.

In the suit No ID/713M/2012 filed through their lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, the claimant is also asking the court to restrain the Lagos state government from molesting, harassing, arresting, seizing their motorcycles or subjecting them to any treatment not suffered by any other road users.

Joined in the suit alongside the Lagos State Government are the state Attorney-General and Lagos State House of Assembly.

The claimants also asked the court to declare that the New Traffic Law constitutes an unjustifiable violation of the right to freedom of movement of the Claimants and their members guaranteed by section 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

They also asked the court to declare that the new Law constitutes a violation of the defendants’ means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment for them as provided for in Section 17(3) (a) of the Constitution.

The okada riders asked the court to declare that the major highways listed in Items 1-11 and other parts of Schedule II of the New Traffic Law in which okada operations are restricted are Federal Trunk or Highway Roads within the meaning of the Federal Highways Act, cap F13, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

They also asked the court 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 listed in Schedule II to the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, No 4 of 2012 and in the Federal Highways Act, cap F13, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

In addition they sought a declaration that the provisions of that section 3(1) of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, No 4 of 2012 to the extent that it prohibits the riding, driving or propelling of a cart, wheel barrow, motorcycle or tricycle on the Major Highways in Lagos listed in Items 1-11 and other parts of Schedule II is in fundamental conflict with section 4(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and is therefore ultra vires, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null, void, oppressive, inoperative and of no effect whatsoever.

The claimants further asked the court to order directing the defendants to immediately release all motorcycles belonging to them and their members seized by and in the custody of the Defendants and their agents and or officers.

Okada riders protest new Lagos Traffic Law

Hundreds of commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders, in the early hours of Monday, barricaded the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway to protest against the Lagos State Government’s new Road Traffic Law.

Part of the new law restricts the operations of okada on major roads across the state.

The protesting Okada riders at 8AM, stormed the Abule-Egba area, on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, one of the restricted routes for Okada riders.

This resulted in a gridlock as they disrupted free flow of traffic.

It took the intervention of the state security outfit, Rapid Response Squad, RRS, the police, Federal Road Safety Corps and men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA,  to restore normalcy on the road

An official of the state Ministry of Transportation, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the protest, saying the situation was immediately put under check with no arrest made as the protesting Okada riders retreated accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, has disclosed that the government has added 15,000 road signs in addition to the existing 10,000.

Opeifa said the massive installation of the signs would enable road-users to be conversant with the signs and their significance, adding that it would also assist road-users to know the restricted routes for motorcycles and tricycles, designated bus-stops, among others.

He implored the residents to inform the government through GSM number 08174616936 on locations where they felt that traffic signs are needed.

He, however, warned “recalcitrant” Okada riders and tricycles also known as “Keke NAPEP or Marwa” in their own interest, to desist from plying the restricted 475 routes as anyone found violating the law would be appropriately sanctioned.