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Keke Marwa operators lose case for autonomy in Lagos
A Federal High Court sitting in Ikeja, presided over by Justice S J Adah, has thrown out a suit filed by some aggrieved members within Three Wheelers Association of Nigeria, challenging the authority of the Lagos State government concerning the operation of three wheelers operators(Keke Marwa).
The state government, in its determination to ensure sanity in the transport system in the state, had recognised two trade unions —National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN)–– in the ransport sector and directed that other transport associations seeking recognition from government to affiliate with any of the two unions.
Initially, all the members of Three Wheelers Association of Nigeria operating in Lagos, in line with the state government’s directive, joined the NURTW, but at a point, some, led by Comrades Tunji Oyeniyi, Moses Buhari, Dauda Ganiyu and Akeem Abdullahi (plaintiffs), went to court to challenge the authority of the government.
The plaintiffs were asking the court to declare as illegal, the directive of the state government mandating them to join either NURTW or RTEAN. They asked the court to grant them autonomy to operate as trade union independently
Joined in the suit were the state Commissioner of Transport, Hon Kayode Opeifa, Commissioner for Justice, the state Commissioner of Police and the NURTW
Delievering judgement in the case after series of adjournments, Justice Adah struck out the case for lack of merit , stating that what the people were asking for were not known to law, describing it as exercise in futility and a waste of time.
The judge equally advised lawyers to always be thorough and diligent when handling cases, saying that court was not a playing ground.
Speaking on the judgment, Barrister Toyin Sodiq, who represented the NURTW, praised the judge for holding the bull by the horns.
He explained that the position of the state government was very clear on the opreation of mushroom associations in Lagos State.
“The position of the state government is that all these mushroom associations can exist as associations, but not as trade union organisations. If they want to operate as union, they must affiliate with recognised body like the NURTW. As an association, they are not allowed to collect union dues and other collections, but what we see was that while the case lasted, the people were collecting dues from members.”Share
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