COURT FIXES DECEMBER 15 TO HEAR SUIT AGAINST BAN OF OKADA, KEKE MARWA IN LAGOS
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Tuesday, September 29 fixed December 15 for the hearing of a suit seeking the reversal of the ban placed by the Lagos State Government on the operation of commercial motorcycles and tricycles, popularly known as Okada and Keke Marwa.
The Lagos State Government had in February enforced a law that restrains the operation of both Okada and Keke Marwa in six local Governments and nine local council development areas of the State.
In a statement issued in January, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, said that the riders must not ply 10 major highways and 40 bridges and flyovers across the State.
Filing the suit seeking the reversal, a Lagos-based lawyer, Julius Ajibulu, said the ban on okada and Keke Marwa, without a replacement or an alternative means of transportation, had subjected Lagosians to untold hardship and taken away the source of livelihood of the operators.
Ajibulu claimed that the proscription had led to massive unemployment rate and increase in crime and insecurity in the State.
According to the lawyer, the ban further violated his fundamental rights and those of other Lagosians under sections 33, 34, 36, 38, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution.
Ajibulu is asking the court to order “the immediate resumption of commercial operations and activities of tricycles (Keke NAPEP/ Marwa) and motorcycles (okada) of the 50cc-200cc capacity engine on the above-stated highways and expressways through the aforesaid bridges in 15 local government and local development council areas of Lagos State.”
He is also seeking damages in the sum of N1bn as well as a public apology in newspapers.
Another lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje had earlier filed a suit before the same court seeking the reversal of ban of Okada and Keke Marwa in the State.
In his suit before Justice Mohammed Liman, Ogungbeje is seeking a declaration that “the forceful impounding, seizure or confiscation of motorcycles and tricycles” by agents of the Lagos State Government amounted to an infringement on the right of residents to own property under sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution.”