Justice Peter Lifu of a Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, stopped the sacked chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos branch, Alhaji Musilu Akinsanya, a.k.a. MC Oluomo and others from collecting levies from non-union commercial drivers in all motor parks in Lagos State.
Others affected by the order are Registered Trustees Of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); Registered Trustees Of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); Registered Trustees Of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO).
Justice Lifu made the order while granting an ex parte application marked FHC/L/CS/224/2022 and filed by a lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, who sued for himself and a new transport union, Transport Union Society of Nigeria (TUSON).
Ogungbeje had dragged Mc Oluomo and other transport unions before the court, alongside, Alhaji Lawal Yusuf Othman; Lagos State Government; the state Attorney-General; Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director of State Security Service (DSS).
In the application, Ogungbeje had asked the court for an order restraining all the respondents jointly and severally, whether, by themselves, their agents, officials, servants, privies, officers and/or howsoever called from forceful imposition, collection, extortion and forceful imposition of any transport union levies, dues, fees or motor parks levies.
The court was also urged to restrain all the respondents from collecting vehicle garage levies, dues, fees or monies or any transport union monies, dues or levies from any person, commercial vehicle diver and or transporter that is not a member of the respondents in connection with the facts of this case, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion filed before the court.
He also asked the court for an order restraining Lagos State Government and its Attorney-General, jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their ministries, organs, agents, officials, servants, privies, officials, officers and/or howsoever called from further enforcement and /or implementation of the N800, 00, transport union levy due and money imposed on every transporter and commercial vehicle driver in Lagos State commenced on February 1, 2022, in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion filed before the court.
He also asked the court for an order restraining all the respondents jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their agents, officials, servants, privies, officers and or howsoever called from arresting, detaining, harassing, embarrassing, humiliating, inviting, seizing and confiscating any commercial vehicle, disturbing and or interfering with the lawful Transport Business operations of the Applicant and his Transport Union members in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion filed before the court.
Justice Lifu, on May 8, 2022, after listening to Ogungbeje’s submissions, ordered all the respondents in the suit to show cause within seven days from the day they were served with the application, why the orders sought for should not be granted.
At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Ogungbeje informed the court that all respondents have been served with all the processes as directed by the court.
He said the respondents despite being served failed to show cause within seven days as directed by the court.
He, therefore, urged the court to grant all the reliefs as prayed.
Justice Lifu after listening to the lawyer’s submission, discovered from the court file that all the respondents were served as directed by the court, but they failed to show cause, held that “all the reliefs sought for by the applicant are hereby granted.”
The judge also adjourned 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 are the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State; Nigeria Police Force; Mr. Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa; 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.