‘Okada Riders’ Slams N1bn Suit On Lagos Over Rights Violations

It was gathered that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday adjourned further hearing in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by some commercial motorcycle riders, popularly called Okada riders, against the Lagos State Government till June 22.

The Okada riders, who are accusing the state and its agents of unlawful arrest, detention, torture and seizure of their motorcycles, are demanding the sum of N1billion as compensation for the alleged violation of their rights.

The 120 plaintiffs, who are suing for themselves and on behalf of others, alleged that they were arrested by agents of the state on various routes within the state from which the Schedule II of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, 2012 did not prohibit them from operating on.

The riders also stated that their arrest and the impounding of their motorcycles without being given an opportunity to defend themselves before a competent court of law amounted to a breach of sections 34 and 35 of the constitution.

They are seeking an injunction restraining the respondents from further arresting and impounding their motorcycles.

The plaintiffs also want an order of the court compeling the respondents to tender published apology to them in two national dailies.

The plaintiffs, who filed the suit marked on behalf of themselves and others, are Yusuf Oladimeji, Aliyu Wamba, Adeniji Musliudeen and Akinkuotu Omoniyi.
Others are Obri Boniface, Tobena Ezeaka, Lateef Ayokunnu and Lembe Lukman.

Listed as respondents in the suit are attorney general of Lagos State, the commissioner of Police in the state, the chairman, Lagos State TaskForce, CSP
Bayo Sulaimon, Cpt. John Daniel, attorney general of the Federation and the National Assembly.

The first plaintiff, Oladimeji, who is one of the executive officers of the Nigerians Automobile Commercial Owners and Workers Association, alleged that the state had unlawfully impounded no fewer than 7,000 motorcycles belonging to his colleagues.

He claimed, “Most of, if not all, cases of arrests and detention of our members and seizure of our motorcycles are not subjected to judicial adjudication by courts of competent jurisdiction before the respondents forfeited them to the state.”

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