Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Court grants Lagos okada riders accelerated hearing on traffic law

A Lagos High court sitting in Ikeja, on  Wednesday, granted accelerated hearing to the suit filed by commercial motorcycle operators (okada riders) against the Lagos State government for banning their operations in some federal highways in the state and harassing them while going about their daily business. 

When the case came up before Justice Aishat Opesanwo, counsel for the okada riders, Mr Bamidele Aturu, applied to withdraw the interlocutory application filed by the claimants before the court asking it to restrain the government from implementing the new Lagos State Traffic Law. 

This, according to him, is to aid  accelerated hearing of the suit by allowing  the court to face the originating summons of the substantive suit. 

"There is a need for us to withdraw our interlocutory application so that the court can hear the substantive suit in an accelerated manner. 

"We believe that there is a need for the court to urgently deal with this matter because it is in the interest of the generality of the populace. 

"Many of them have been suffering from this draconian action of the government to restrict  motorcyclists from operating in federal highways. 

"We are, therefore, asking the court to strike out the application and grant us an accelerated hearing of the substantive suit," he said. 

Counsel for the Lagos State House of Assembly, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in his submissions, stated that the relief being sought by the claimants in the interlocutory application was similar to the one in the substantive suit. 

As a result, Justice Opesanwo dismissed the application and fixed November 16 for hearing of the substantive suit which is challenging the ban placed on the claimants from plying 475 roads in the state.
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