Court Sacks MC Oluomo’s Park Committee As Lagos CP Removes DPO Over Alleged Extortion
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The Lagos State Parks and Garages Management Committee led by Musiliu Akinsanya popularly known as MC Oluomo has been sacked by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
This is even as the Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP) Idowu Owohunwa, ordered the immediate removal of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Okokomaiko, SP Emmanuel Edebagha.
The court in a ruling on Tuesday by Justice Maureen Esowe held that the setting up of MC Oluomo parks and management committee by the Lagos State government is illegal.
The court in its ruling also barred the state government from further interfering in the operations of the union’s exco.
It also ordered the reinstatement of the operations of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Lagos State.
According to Justice Esowe, the state government and the Police should have intervened by arresting and prosecuting those behind any fracas purportedly involving union members and not inquiring into the dispute.
Furthermore, the Judge ordered the police to refrain from intimidating the RTEAN officers, remove all barricades it imposed around their secretariat and grant them unfettered access to their offices.
A preliminary objection to the suit from the defendants was struck out by the court as it ruled that the matter was straightforward, with no serious dispute to warrant an exchange of pleadings.
Naija News understands RTEAN instituted the suit marked NICN/LA/381/2022, in October 2022 to challenge the Lagos State government for allegedly dissolving the elected executive committee of the union in the state and appointing a caretaker body, known as the Parks and Garages Administrators, headed by MC Oluomo.
The defendants in the case are the Lagos State Governor, the Attorney-General of the state, Moyosore Onigbanjo, and the Special Adviser to the governor on transportation, Sola Giwa.
The 4th-37th defendants are the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, and all the members of the caretaker committee.
In January, the union through its counsel, Elisha Kurah (SAN) argued that a state cannot interfere in the affairs of a trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act of 2004 as such matters are expected to be handled by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
However, the counsel for the state government, Adebayo Haroun contended that the government neither violated the law nor dissolved the national body’s operations in the state, but had sought to maintain law and order by creating the ad-hoc committee when violence ensued between the unions.
On his part, the counsel for the 5th to the 37th defendants, Taiwo Kupolati (SAN), said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had the power to maintain peace in the land.
According to him, “There was a crisis and the governor exercised his authority as the Chief Security Officer of the state and put up a committee to be in charge of garages for peace to reign.”
DPO In Extortion mess alleged N100,000 extortion
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, has ordered the immediate removal of the Divisional Police Officer of Okokomaiko, SP Emmanuel Edebagha.
According to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, on Saturday, Edebagha was removed for failing to supervise his men who were allegedly involved in the extortion of a trader in the Alaba International Market of N100,000.
Hundeyin, via his verified Twitter handle, disclosed that the CP had also ordered the commencement of disciplinary action against the DPO and the indicted officers.
He added that the officers involved were already at the state headquarters.
Hundeyin wrote, “CP Idowu Owohunwa has ordered the immediate removal of DPO Okokomaiko, SP Emmanuel Edebagha, for his lack of supervision of his men.
“CP Owohunwa has also ordered commencement of disciplinary action against him and all his indicted officers.”
The trader who was extorted was said to be a phone dealer identified as Onyinyechi Anwusi. According to reports, he was extorted for the sum of N100,000 after the police officers stopped him for a search and found no incriminating evidence on him.
He alleged that the officers asked him to unlock his mobile phone, and they searched through the contents, and thereafter forced him to write a statement under duress indicting himself as an internet fraudster before he was asked to pay the sum of N100,000.
However, Hundeyin in a phone conversation with our correspondent, said after investigations were carried out and depending on the findings, the DPO and the indicted officers would be punished according to the severity of their offences.
He added, “It could be dismissal, reduction in rank or suspension, but that solely depends on the findings from the disciplinary action, which is like a court. They could also be exonerated if it is proven that they aren’t guilty of anything.” Read more