18th August, 2011
In a bid to forestall incessant harassment and frequent disturbances, the registered trustees of Three Wheeler Beneficiaries/Operators Association of Nigeria TWBOAN), has dragged Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), before a Lagos High Court.
In an affidavit sworn to by a member of the Board of Trustees of the applicant, Mr. Joseph Odusanya and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Gani Bello, the deponent averred that the registered trustees of TWBOAN have a state chapter, branches and units throughout Lagos State for easy operations and administrative convenience.
Upon an application backed by payment of requisite renewable annual fees, the Lagos State government, though the local government councils concerned granted permission to the union and its members to use, ply and operate on all roads/transport routes and garages/motor parks in the state.
Following the various divisive factors militating against smooth transport union activities in Lagos State, government resolved by a policy that all transport unions in the state should affiliate with either National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) or Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).
Mr. Odusanya averred further that after full deliberation by members of TWBOAN, it was resolved that the union should affiliate with the NURTW and by its letter dated 17 November, 2006, NURTW granted the application for affiliation.
Since then, the leadership and members of RTEAN have continued to harass and disturb members of the applicant in their operations on roads, transport routes, garages and motor parks.
In spite of the intervention by the Lagos State government and other well meaning community leaders, RTEAN has been threatening to chase and expel members of TWBOAN from all roads, transport routes and motor parks in the state, particularly in Surulere, Ikorodu, Ojo and Badagry local government areas.
The applicant alleged that the respondent is not happy because of its affiliation to NURTW and consequently resorted to the use of unlawful force and means to chase and expel its members out of all the roads, transport routes and motor parks in Lagos State, despite the fact that the applicant had paid the requisite renewable annual fees to the appropriate authority.
The situation reached a worrisome level to the extent that the solicitor of the applicant, Mr. Gani Bello, had to petition the Inspector General of Police, but this notwithstanding, the respondent and its members have renewed their threat and harassments.
On every occasion the respondent disturbed the applicant, it has always resulted into huge financial losses, therefore the applicant contended that unless the court intervenes as a matter of urgency, the respondent will continue to disturb its members and cause loss of financial and human resources as well as hardship on the society.
Consequently, the applicant prayed the court not only to restrain RTEAN and its agents from further disturbing TWBOAN members but also declare that the incessant and frequent disturbance and prevention of its members from using and plying all roads and motor parks in Lagos State is unlawful, illegal, wrongful, condemnable and unwarranted.