A Federal High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has restricted the Lagos State Government from banning or imposing restrictions on the operations of commercial motorcyclists from any road within the state.
The presiding judge, Justice Steven Adah was on Friday, ruling on an application filed by the motorcyclists also known as okada riders, seeking the court to declare among other things that the proposed ban and restriction of their operations would constitute a violation of their constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of movement.
Justice Adah held that there was no valid law enacted by the legislature which empowered the State government to impose ban or restrictions on the okada riders. He ruled that the ban or restriction is null and void until the law is enacted by the legislature.
The trial judge said that the constitution guranteed freedom of movement even though that right is not absolute. He said that government can restrict freedom of movement for reasonably justifiable reasons such as public defence, public order, public safety, public morality and public health.
He however said that such restriction must be backed by a valid law passed by the State House of Assembly or the National Assembly.