By Olasunkanmi Akoni
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday, has ordered immediate stoppage of any collection of levies by the sacked chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Lagos branch, Musilu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo from non-union commercial drivers in all motor parks in Lagos State.
Justice Peter Lifu gave the order while granting Exparte application marked FHC/L/CS/224/2022, filed before the court by a lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, who sued for himself and a new transport union, Transport Union Society of Nigeria, TUSON).
Others affected by the order are: Registered Trustees of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); Registered Trustees of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); Registered Trustees of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO).
Ogungbeje had dragged Mc Oluomo and other transport unions before the court alongside, Lawal Othman; Lagos State Government; Attorney-General of Lagos State; Inspector-General of Police, IGP, and Director of State Security Service, SSS.
In the application, Ogungbeje had asked the court for an order restraining all the respondents jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their agents, officials, servants’ privies, officers and/or whosoever called from forceful imposition, collection, extortion, further forceful imposition. Extortion and collection of any transport Union levies, dues, fees or monies, Motor-Parks levies, dues, fees or monies, Bus-Stop levies, dues, fees or monies, Vehicle Garage levies, dues, fees or monies or any Transport Union Monies, dues or levies from any person, commercial vehicle diver and or transporter that is not a member of the respondents in connection with the facts of the case pending the hearing and determination of the Substantive originating motion filed before the Court.
He also asked the court for an order restraining Lagos State Government and its Attorney-General, jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their Ministries, Organs, agents, officials. servants, privies, officials, officers and/or howsoever called from further enforcement and or implementation of the N800 Transport Union levy due and money imposed on every transporter and commercial vehicle driver in Lagos State commenced on February 1, 2022, in connection with the facts of the case pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion filed before the court.
Ogungbeje also asked the court for an order restraining all the respondents jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their agents, officials, servants, privies, officers and or howsoever called from arresting, detaining, harassing, embarrassing, humiliating, inviting, seizing and confiscating any commercial vehicle, disturbing and or interfering with the lawful Transport Business operations of the Applicant and his Transport Union members in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion filed before the court.
Justice Lifu had on May 8, 2022, after listened to Ogungbeje’s submissions, ordered all the respondents in the suit to show cause within seven days from that very day, May 8, or from the day they were served with the application, why the order sought for should not be granted.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Ogungbeje informed the court that all respondents have been served with all the processes as directed by the court, adding that the respondents despite being served failed to show cause within seven days as directed by the court.
He therefore, urged the court to grant all his reliefs as prayed.
Justice Lifu, after listened to the lawyer’s submission, and discovered from the court filed, noted that all the respondents were served as directed by the court but failed to show cause, held that “all the reliefs sought for by the applicant are hereby granted.”
Justice Lifu, after granting the applicant’s reliefs, also adjourned till June 6, to rule on applicant’s motion to join other parties to the suit.
Those sought to be join in the suit by the applicant are: Commissioner of Police, Lagos State; Nigeria Police Force; Mr. Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa; The Registered Trustees of Motorcycle Operation Association of Lagos State (MOALS) and The Registered Trustees of Tricycle Owners and Operator Association of Nigeria (TOOAN).
Others are: the Registered Trustees of Nagari Nakowa Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Lagos State; (NNAMORAL) HRH OBA Adeshina Suleiman Raji, A.k.a JAFO Authority; Lagos State Park and Garages Management Committee; Mr. Hakeem Odumosu (AIG) (Rtd) and Dr. Taiwo Olufemi Salam.