BusinessLegal/Judiciary

Union levies’ imposition: NURTW, MC Oluomo, others dragged to court

By Francis IWUCHUKWU

For allegedly collecting Union levies from drivers that are not members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the suspended chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the Union, Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, a.k.a. MC Oluomo and nine others have been dragged before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria.

The legal offensive was initiated by a Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje.

Others listed as Oluomo’s co-respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/224/2022 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); Alhaji Musilu Akinsanya (a.k.a. MC Oluomo); Alhaji 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, Ogungbeje, 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.

In moving the Exparte Motion before the court on Friday, Ogungbeje had asked the court for an order restraining 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 driver 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.

The lawyer equally urged the court for an order restraining the 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 N800,00 Transport Union levy, due and money imposed on every transporter and commercial vehicle driver in Lagos State which commenced on the 1st of February 2022, in connection with the facts of the case pending the hearing and determination of the Substantive Originating Motion filed before the court.

Ogungbeje further prayed 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.

After listening to Ogungbeje’s submissions, the court presided over by Justice Lifu ordered all the respondents in the suit to show cause within seven days from today or from the day they were served with the application, why the orders sought for should not be granted.

The case was then adjourned till May 24, 2022, for further hearing.

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