Court Dismisses Commercial Motorcyclists’ Suit Challenging Ban on Federal Roads

14 Dec 2012

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Akinwale Akintunde

Justice Aishat Opesanwo of an Ikeja High Court, Thursday  dismissed a suit filed by some commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Okada riders, challenging the state’s traffic law banning their operation on federal roads in the state.

Opesanwo, in her judgment dismissed the suit in entirety for lacking in merit and upheld the submissions of the state government and the House of Assembly that no road had been designated as a federal highway in accordance with provisions of the constitution.

The judge also dismissed the arguments of the commercial motorcyclists that their rights to free movement, right to possession of properties and freedom from discrimination, were being infringed upon.

“In the totality, I hold that the originating summons having lacking in merit, I am obliged to dismiss this action. This action fails and it is hereby dismissed in entirety,” he stated.

According to the judge, counsel to the commercial motorcyclists, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, failed to support his claim that the Traffic Law enacted by the State House of Assembly encroached on the legislative powers of the National Assembly to make laws on the roads exclusively reserved for the federal legislature with concrete evidence.

The okada riders under aegis of Incorporated Trustees of All Nigerian Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association had instituted the suit against the Lagos State Government, Lagos State House of Assembly and Attorney-General of Lagos State on September 3, 2011.
They had asked the court to restrain the state government from prohibiting their operations on the highways.

The state government and the House of Assembly had opposed the suit, saying they had the power to make and execute laws on all the roads in the state.

Meanwhile, Aturu has said he would appeal the judgment on behalf of his client.
He disagreed with the judgment, adding that it was wrong for government to have denied the existence of federal highway in the state.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, Court, Motorcyclists, Suit, Federal Roads

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