A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Olukayode Ogungbeje, has urged the Commissioner of Police in Lagos to ensure the enforcement of an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos which barred the Lagos State Government from implementing its policy of collecting a daily levy of N800 from transporters and commercial vehicle drivers in the state.
In the February 9, 2022 ex parte order, Justice P.O. Lifu also restrained the respondents from “forceful imposition, collection of any transport union levies, dues, fees or money from any person, commercial driver or any transporter that is not a member of the respondents.”
The suit was filed by Ogungbeje on behalf of himself and the Transport Union Society of Nigeria.
Listed as respondents in the suit were the Lagos State Government; its attorney general, the Registered Trustees of the National Union of Road Transport Workers; the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria; the National Association of Road Transport Owners and the newly appointed Head of the Lagos State Park and Garages Management, Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo; and others.
Ogungbeje, in a June 2, 2022 letter to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, lamented that the respondents had not complied with the court order, saying collection of levy by the respondents had continued unhindered despite the court order.
His letter, obtained by Saturday PUNCH on Friday, was titled, “Strong Demand for Immediate Compliance and Enforcement of the Order of Court Against NURTW, RTEAN, NARTO and Lagos State Government without any further delay.”
The lawyer warned the parties involved to obey the order of the court before June 8, 2022, or risk mass action by Nigerians.
He said, “It is utterly preposterous and alarming that despite the valid and subsisting order of the court, the affected transport unions, cited persons and indeed the Lagos State Government have continued to treat the order of the court with flagrant disdain as if they are above the law by their continuous extortion and/or collection of the restrained levies, taxes, dues and or money from commercial transport drivers and riders in Lagos without qualms.
“In the light of the foregoing, we are using this medium to strongly call and beckon on you to use your good offices to ensure that the affected transport unions, persons and authorities comply with the order, so as to forestall a breakdown of law and order in Lagos State. After all, the police as a law enforcement agency is a party to the above order of the court and pending lawsuit.”