Home Lagos Lagos transport plans stand, Oluomo not involved — REC

Lagos transport plans stand, Oluomo not involved — REC

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Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,from engaging the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, or any of its commercial bus drivers in the distribution of election materials for the February 25 and March 11 polls.

The Lagos State Parks Management Committee, LASPMC, is headed by transport union leader, Musiliu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo, who is an ally of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Lagos State.

Justice Aneke’s restraining order on Monday followed an application for interlocutory injunction filed by the Labour Party, African Democratic Congress and Boot Party.

The parties filed the suit, marked FHC/L/CS/271/2023, alongside their governorship candidates in Lagos – Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (LP); Funsho Doherty (ADC); and Wale Oluwo (Boot Party).

INEC is the sole defendant in the suit.The judge granted the interim interlocutory injunction after listening to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Abass Ibrahim.

In the affidavit filed in support of the application, the lawyer averred that the Lagos State Government, in April 2022, abolished the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in the state.

In place of the NURTW, of which MC Oluomo was a chieftain, the state government set up the Lagos State Parks Management Committee to oversee the affairs of commercial bus drivers, motor parks and garages in the state.

He said prior to April 2022, the NURTW was the major controller and manager of Lagos State commercial bus drivers, garages and motor parks.

The lawyer stated that upon establishment of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, “appointed a popular thug, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, who is a strong supporter of the APC, the APC governorship candidate in Lagos and the APC presidential candidate, as the chairman of the committee.”

The deponent said he knew that MC Oluomo is a card-carrying member of the APC and a strong supporter of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

In his statement, MC Oluomo was once quoted as saying: “I am an Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Jagaban’s loyalist, I wear the Jagaban jersey; I’ve been a loyalist since 1999.”

“The letter was received by the defendant on January 16, 2023 and it was reported in the national dailies that the defendant had appointed the Musiliu Akinsanya popularly known as MC Oluomo-led Lagos State Parks Management Committee to distribute election materials and personnel in Lagos.

“On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, confirmed, during the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting at INEC, that they had no choice but to work with the MC Oluomo-led Lagos State Parks Management Committee.”

The deponent said he knew that MC Oluomo is a card-carrying member of the APC and a strong suppo, MC Oluomo was once quoted as saying: “I am Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Jagaban’s loyalist, I wear the Jagaban jersey; I’ve been a loyalist since 1999.”

He said his clients had fears that if INEC used the MC Oluomo-led committee to distribute election materials, the elections would be manipulated in favour of the APC.

In a ruling, Justice Aneke said: “I have listened to the submission of counsel and also perused the motion with an affidavit of urgency and grounds for the application. I found merit in the application. The order of interlocutory injunction is hereby granted.”

The judge adjourned the hearing of the substantive suit to February 22, and also ordered that all the processes in the suit be served on INEC.

The judge also ordered that a hearing notice be issued and served on the INEC.

But reacting to the ruling, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje, told one of our correspondents that he was not aware of the lawsuit as he hadn’t been served.

He added: “Nobody is dealing with Oluomo here. I said it several times. We are not dealing with Oluomo. The owners of the vehicles are at the local government level. Anybody who says we are dealing with Oluomo should provide the evidence. And we don’t have any problem with mobilisation in Lagos State.

“We don’t have any challenge at all in INEC Lagos State. All the arrangements are going on smoothly. We are not aware of any court judgement because nobody served us any court papers. The issue of Oluomo does not arise in the first instance. We are going on with our arrangement and we don’t have anything to fear.”

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