Okada operators sue Lagos State, seek reversal of new traffic law

by Isi Esene

The new traffic law passed by the Lagos State Government has drawn the ire of commercial motorcycle operators in the state and they have decided to drag the government to court calling for a reversal of the law.

The defendants in the suit are the Lagos State Government, the Lagos State House of Assembly, and the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr. Ade Ipaye.

According to reports, the group, operating under the aegis of the All Nigerians Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association (ANACOWA), is seeking an order of court restraining the state government from prohibiting them from operating on the major highways listed in Items 1-11 and other parts of Schedule II of the new traffic law.

The association, through its lawyer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, is praying the court to restrain the Lagos State Government from molesting, harassing, arresting, seizing their motorcycles or subjecting them to any treatment nor suffered by any other road users.

It claims the new law is a violation of their rights to freedom of movement and it constitutes a major barrier to achieving a legitimate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment for themselves.

Among other prayers, the ANACOWA is also asking the court to order the state government and its agencies to release motorcyles seized from their members by the defendant.

Governor Babatunde Fashola had on August 2 signed the Lagos State Road Traffic Bill into law.

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