On Tuesday 24th May 2022, Alhaji Musilu Akinsanya a.k.a MC Oluomo, the dismissed chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Lagos branch, and other transport unions have been barred from levying non-Union commercial drivers in all motor parks in Lagos State by the Lagos State Federal High Court.
Also, those affected by Justice Peter Lifu’s order(NARTO) are the Registered Trustees of The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); Registered Trustees Of The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); Registered Trustees Of The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners.
The Ex Parte action was filed by Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, a lawyer and human rights activist which was entitled FHC/L/CS/224/2022, in which he sued for himself and a new transport Union, the Transport Union Society of Nigeria (TUSON)
For the Tuesday 24th orders, Ogungbeje had brought MC Oluomo and other transport unions to court, as well as Alhaji Lawan Yusuf Othman, Lagos State Government, Attorney-General of Lagos State, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and Director of State Security Service (SSS).
In Ogungbeje’s application, he requested that the court issue an order prohibiting the respondents, whether, by themselves, their agents, officials, servants, privies, officers, and/or whomsoever called, from imposing, collecting, extorting, or imposing additional levies forcefully.
“Extortion and the collecting of any fees imposed by the Transport Union. Money, fees, or dues Motor-park levy, dues, fees, or monies, Bus-Stop levy, dues, fees, or monies, Vehicle Garage levy, dues, fees, or monies, or any Transport Union levy, dues, fees, or monies. Dues or levies from any person, commercial vehicle driver, or carrier who is not a member of the respondents in connection with the circumstances of this action before the hearing and decision of the substantive originating motion filed before the Court.”
He also asked for an order from the court prohibiting the Lagos State Government and its Attorney-General, jointly and severally, from further enforcing and or implementing the 800 Naira Transport Union levy due and money imposed on every transporter and commercial vehicle driver in Lagos State, which began on February 1, 2022, whether by themselves, their ministries, organs, agents, or officials, servants, privies, officers, and/or whosoever called, from further enforcement.
Ogungbeje also asked the court for an order prohibiting all respondents, jointly and severally, from arresting, detaining, harassing, embarrassing, humiliating, inviting, seizing, and confiscating any commercial vehicle, disturbing and or interfering with the Applicant’s and his Transport Union members’ lawful Transport Business operations in connection with the case.
After Ogungbeje had stated his arguments, Justice Lifu issued an order on May 8, 2022, requiring all respondents in the matter to show cause within seven days of May 8, or the day they were served with the application, why the orders sought should be granted.
At the resumed hearing of the matter, Ogungbeje informed the court that all respondents have been served with all the processes as directed by the court.
He also added that the respondents despite being served failed to show cause within seven days as directed by the court.
However, he urged the court to grant all his reliefs as prayed.
After listening to Ogungbeje’s submission, Justice Lifu discovered from the court file and noticed that all the respondents were served as directed by the court but failed to show cause, held that “all the reliefs sought for by the applicant are hereby granted.”
The judge after granting Ogungbeje’s reliefs, also adjourned the matter, till June 6, to rule on the applicant’s motion to join other parties to the suit.
Those seeking to be joined in the suit by the applicant are the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State; Nigeria Police Force; Mr. Tajudeen Ibikunle Barywa; The Registered Trustees Of Motorcycle Operation Association of Lagos State (MOALS) and The Registered Trustees of Tricycle Owners and Operator Association of Nigeria (TOOAN).
Others are the Registered Trustees of Nagari Nakowa Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Lagos State (NNAMORAL); HRH Oba Adeshina Suleiman Raji, a.k.a JAFO Authority; Lagos State Park and Garages Management Committee; Mr. Hakeem Odumosu (AIG) (Rtd) and Dr. Taiwo Olufemi Salam.