Gist: Lagos Traffic Law: Court dismisses Okada riders’ suit  (Read 1246 times)

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Lagos Traffic Law: Court dismisses Okada riders’ suit
by dayod247 « on: December 14, 2012, 11:44:51 AM »

An Ikeja High Court of Lagos State yesterday dismissed the suit filed by commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada riders in which they challenged the enforcement of the new Traffic Law.

Justice Aishat Opesanwo , who ruled on the matter, declared that the Lagos Traffic Law 2012 did not violate the rights of the commercial motorcyclists.

The Okada riders, under the aegis of All Nigerian Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association (ANACOWA), had sued the state government and the House of Assembly over the provisions of the law which restricted their operations in 475 roads and bridges.

Justice Opesanwo held that contrary to the claim of abuse of freedom of movement made by the Okada riders, the law did not violate the claimants’ rights.

The court, however, rejected the submissions of the counsel to the motorcyclists, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, who argued that the law was discriminatory against the motorcyclists.

The judge said: “The Road Traffic Law regulates other forms of vehicles and as such, the right of the claimants to their constitutional right to freedom from discrimination has not been violated.”

Referring to the decision in Director, SSS v. Agbakoba, the court held that the right of the claimants to move freely across the state has not been violated, adding that only commercial motorcycles were restricted to certain areas on the highways.

Reacting to the judgement, the Lagos State Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said that the decision was for the collective good of all. Ipaye said: “If there is any winner at all, it is the good people of Lagos State who desire to commute in a safe, secure and conducive environment. It is also a relief to have legal confirmation of the sensible fact that a State House of Assembly has powers to make laws regulating conduct on every road within the State territory.”

Governor Babatunde Fashola described the suit of the motorcyclist as frivolous, saying the action was ill-conceived.

The governor, who said he was not elected to be popular but to serve the people, reiterated that the law was to check needless deaths arising from avoidable accidents and crimes.

Fashola said it was wrong for people to violate the law democratically made by the state lawmakers in the name of fighting for freedom.

According to him, “the action is extremely frivolous and ill-conceived in the first place. I think when laws are in place people must understand. I understand that people are yet to come to terms that democratic process works. The law was not cast in the stone.

“The same members of parliament reserve the right to amend and to modify and this must be the democratic spirit.”

Source: National Mirror


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