Okada riders sue Lagos state government

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Motorcycle taxi drivers sit on their bikes, popularly called "Okada", in Obalende, Lagos Island, Nigeria, January 27, 2020. Picture taken January 27, 2020. REUTERS/Temillade Adelaja - RC20PE91AEKH

Okada riders sue Lagos state government

The Lagos state government has been dragged to court by Trustees of Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria (MTUN) following the ban on operation of commercial motorcyclists (Okada riders).

Applicants in the lawsuit before a federal high court in the state are Comrade Peter Umoh, Pastor Tony Onuoha, David Abiona, Adebayo Oluwasegun, Gambo Muhammed, Yakubu Abubakar, Ayo Boluwade, Amaechi Peter and Nwamiri Monday.

Defendants in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1016/2022 are Lagos State 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.

Asides asking for a declaration that the ban on commercial motorcycles is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, the applicants also asked the court to declare that the “purported proposed ban of 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 fair hearing provided for and encapsulated in Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

They also prayed for a declaration that the ban on 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 who cannot be alive without food and other means of sustenance and whose income is the business of commercial motorcycle transportation.”

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. The suit has not been assigned to any judge.

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