By Onozure Dania
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned the hearing of a suit seeking for the reversal of the ban placed by the Lagos State Government on the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles, popularly known as Okada and Keke Marwa, respectively, in parts of the state, till December 15, 2020.
A Lagos legal practitioner Julius Ajibulu, who filed the suit before Justice Chuka Obiozor, said the ban on Okada and Keke Marwa, without a replacement with an alternative means of transportation, had subjected Lagosians to untold hardship and taken away the source of livelihood of the operators.
Ajibulu said that the ban had led to “massive unemployment” and an escalation in the rate of crime and insecurity in Lagos State due to the loss of jobs.
He said the ban 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 the above 15 local government and local development council areas of Lagos State.”
He is also asking for damages in the sum of N1 billion as well as a public apology in newspapers.
Ajibulu’s suit is the second lawsuit against the Lagos State Government over the ban on Okada and Keke Marwa.
Another lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, is also before the Federal High Court, praying that the ban be reversed.
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.”