The lingering crises between Three Wheelers(tricycle) Beneficiaries, Operators Association and the Lagos State government and four others is still far from being over as the association has accused , one of the parties in the crisis,The National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) of misinforming the public on the true status of the case, recently struck out of court.
The tricycle (Keke Marwa) riders , as members of the association are called, have also threatened for a showdown with anybody or institution that wants to forcefully take over their parks across the state.
Meanwhile, the NURTW has denied the accusation against them by the keke Marwa riders and insisted that the court decided on the matter, brought before it by the riders .
Comrade Lucas Olaore , the administrative secretary of the keke Marwa riders, while speaking with journalists, stated empatically that the association’s case against the government and four others was not dismissed, as so persons had been peddling around, but actually, “struck out on technical grounds,” adding that the association had already refiled the suit at the same court.
“This is to notify the general public of the pend ency of suit No FHC/IKJ /SC /133/2012 at the Federal High court Agidingbi , Ikeja, which came up on Thursday the 21st day of June 2012 and adjourned to the 3rd of October 2012 between our association and Lagos State government and four others , including the National Union of Road Transport Workers,” Olaore stated.
He further added : “ Our earlier similar case I e suit No FHC ./IKJ ./CS/36/2010 was struck out by the said Federal Court Ikeja on the 12th of June 2012 as a result of discrepancies in the arrangement of the section of the law , upon which our earlier case was predicated.”
He was quick to note that: “Since the case was struck out on technical ground and not dismissed, we have filed the aforesaid new suit as law abiding citizens and members of a responsible association, instead of causing trouble and mayhem as rumoured by NURTW.”
The keke riders admin secretary accused the NURTW of taking advantage of the struck out case to misinform residents of the state.
“It is amazing and disheartening that members of the NURTW and some unscrupulous elements have been going about , mischievously spreading false information and malacious reports that our case was dismissed, instead of struck out and that the court had declared them winners , contrary to the clear, conspicuous and unambiguous contents of the afore said judgement, delivered on the 12th day of June 2012”
Olaore called on the public to disregard such reports and stated that “Consequently, it is instructive to state and inform the general public that we are still in court and pursuant to the much cherished rule.”
He also implored the general public that, “the status quo remains the same and our association should be allowed to continue to use and operate from our various parks and garages in respect of which we have permit from the relevant authourities.”
Olaore, who spoke om behalf of the national chairman of the association , Comrade Moses Buhari however threatened that , “Any attempt to prevent our association from the use of our parks and garages or subject our members to any form of intimidation, harassment or maltreatment is tantamount to contempt of the court , illegality and direct invitation to anarchy , chaos and breakdown of law and order.
“The attempt of which we shall resist with every legal machinery at our disposal and other reasonable means.”
Dauda Ganiyu , the vice chairman of the Lagos State executive council of Three Wheelers Beneficiaries, Operators Association in an affidavit sworn in support of the refiled case accused the Lagos State government and the state ministry of transportation of using their officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force to intimidate and harass members of the association.
He also sworn that the Lagos State government had frustrated attempts by the keke riders association to elect new members of executive and that officials of the Lagos State ministry of transportation were coercing them to either join NURTW or Incorporated Trustees of Keke Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria.
The chairman of the Lagos State council of NURTW , Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede distanced his association from any malicious spreading of information on the suit.
He claimed that his union had no reason to go out and start telling members of the public that they had won a case which involved the Lagos State government.