The Lagos State Government announced an Okada ban in six different local government areas within the state on May 18th.
The six local government areas are, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Ikeja, Apapa, Eti-Osa and Surulere. Following the ban, the Trustees of Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria (MTUN) has dragged the state government before a Federal High Court.
The union claim the okada ban “is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional”.
The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, Lagos Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi as well as Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Dr Fredric Oladeinde are named as the defendants in the suit.
In the suit, the union claim that the “purported proposed ban of the commercial motorcycle transportation in Lagos State by the governor, without hearing from the operators whose rights are affected or likely to be affected is a violation of the constitutional rights of the applicants to fear to hear provided for and encapsulated in Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.”
Furthermore, the suit says the state government’s ban of commercial motorcyclists was a violation of their rights as the “okada” business is their main source of income and sustenance.
Alternatively, they prayed the court to grant an order compelling the government to provide jobs for the affected commercial motorcycle riders in the state. The suit also asked the government to restrict Okada operations on major highways and let them work in “approved areas” instead of a total ban.
Also, they claim that during the regime of former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, the union was engaged by the government on how to regulate their operation in the state, including issuing identification cards to members and others.