A Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, has asked Justice Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court in Lagos to reverse the ban imposed on the operations of commercial tricycles and motorcycles, commonly known as okada, in parts of Lagos by the state government.
The Lagos State Government, Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Unit, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Attorney General of Lagos State, Commissioner of Police in Lagos State; the Vehicle Inspection Service as well as the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation were joined as co-respondents in the suit.
In the suit, the plaintiff argued that the executive ban on commercial tricycles and okada issued by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was not backed by any court order and grossly violated Section 41 of the Constitution.
He contended that the ban had visited untold hardship on him and other law-abiding Nigerians living in Lagos.
Ogungbeje is consequently asking the court to to declare 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.
He is also seeking a declaration 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 tantamount to a usurpation of the functions of the judiciary “and is thus a gross infringement on the right to fair hearing and human dignity under Sections 36 and 34 of the Constitution.
Besides, he also want the court to make a perpetual injunction restraining the Lagos State Government from enforcing the ban and also prayed the court to award N500 million as general and exemplary damages against the state for the alleged violation of citizens’ rights.
Hearing of the suit has been fixed for September 28.