A Lagos Federal High Court has adjourned till June 22, a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the commercial motorcyclists, popularly called ‘Okada riders’, against the Lagos State Government.
About 120 commercial motorcyclists had sued the Lagos state government, claiming the sum of N1 billion as compensation over alleged unlawful arrest, detention, torture and seizure of their motorcycles by agents of the Lagos state.
The plaintiffs, in the suit numbered FHC/L/CS/756/14, claimed 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.
They also claimed that their arrest and seizure of their motorcycles without being given opportunity to defend themselves before a competent court of law amounted to breach of Sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution.
The ‘Okada’ riders alleged that their unlawful arrest, detention,
intimidation, embarrassment and torture by agents of Lagos State, and therefore seeking court injunction restraining the respondents from further arresting and impounding their motorcycles.
They also want an order of the court compelling the respondents to tender published apology to them in two national dailies.
The plaintiffs, who filed the suit on behalf of themselves and others; were Yusuf Oladimeji, Aliyu Wamba, Adeniji Musliudeen and Akinkuotu Omoniyi, 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 Task Force, CSP Bayo Sulaimon, Captain John Daniel, Attorney-General of the Federation and the National Assembly.
One of the plaintiffs, Oladimeji, who is an executive of the Nigerian Automobile Commercial Owners and Workers Association, claimed that the Lagos state had unlawfully impounded no fewer than 7,000 motorcycles belonging to his colleagues.“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.”
The presiding judge, Justice Muhammed Yunusa has adjourned the hearing if the suit till June 22, 2015.

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