By Adaku Walter
A lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, has dragged the suspended chairman of Lagos State Chapter of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Musilu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo and nine others before a Federal High Court, over collection of union levies from motorists and non-union members.
Others listed as Oluomo’s co-respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/224/2022 are: Registered Trustees of NURTW; Registered Trustees of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); Registered Trustees of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO); Lawal Yusuf Othman; Lagos State Government; Attorney-General of Lagos State; Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Director of State Security Service (SSS).
The lawyer filed the suit for himself and on behalf of a new transport union, Transport Union Society of Nigeria (TUSON), pursuant to section 33, 36, 40, and 46 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria; Order 4, Rules 3; 4(4)(5) and 11 of the fundamental rights enforcement procedure rules, 2009.
The motion Exparte was supported with 34 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by the lawyer. The Trumpet gathered.
Moving the suit’s Exparte motion before the court, today, Ogungbeje had asked the court for an order restraining the respondents jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their agents, officials, servants, privies and officers from forceful imposition, collection and extortion of any transport union levies, dues, fees or monies at motor-parks, bus-stop, vehicle garage.
He also asked for an order restraining any transport union from collecting dues or levies from any person, commercial vehicle driver and transporter that is not a member of the respondents in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the Substantive Originating Motion filed before the Court.
Ogungbeje 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 and privies from further enforcement and implementation of the N800 levy imposed on every transporter and commercial vehicle driver in the State.
He said this levy enforced on February 2, 2022 without recourse to section 36 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is clearly unconstitutional.
He also asked the court for an order restraining all the respondents from arresting, detaining, harassing, embarrassing, humiliating, inviting, seizing and confiscating any commercial vehicle, disturbing and interfering with the lawful transport business operations of the applicant and his transport union members.
Ogungbeje in his affidavit claimed to be the Interim National Chairman of Transport Union Society of Nigeria (TUSON), an association of Transport Unions in Nigeria.
He also stated that he has a duty as a Minister in the Temple of Justice and Legal Practitioner to protect and defend the sanctity of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from any constitutional contravention or infraction, violation and breach.
He added that his fundamental right to freedom of association guaranteed under section 40 of the constitution has been and is being violated by the respondents.