The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Delta State has been drawn to the “agberotic”, warlike, illegal and oppressive ways some purported agents of Delta State Government have adopted in enforcing Delta State passengers welfare scheme. In fact, the open display of brute force in enforcing same leaves more to be desired!
Delta APC is not unaware of the fact that the said law came into effect in the year 2002, but same was declared illegal, null and void by the High Court of Justice, sitting at Otor-Udu, sometime in April, 2017. Information at our disposal is that in line with the reliefs sought by the Claimant in the said suit, the Court declared as illegal, the collection of monies (#100) from passengers and/or commercial transporters in respect of the law. Employment of private persons or consultants to collect monies on behalf of the State Government in respect of the scheme was declared illegal as well.
As at today, the said judgement has not been set aside by any superior Court of record. But the State Government, in its usual manner of disregarding due process and the rule of law, has engaged a Consultant who has gone ahead to employ blood thirsty fellows and people who have no courtesy or decorum to go about harassing, molesting, intimidating and extorting money from commutters and Transporters under the guise that they derived their powers from the Passengers Welfare Scheme Law!
It has been tales of pain and sorrow from passengers and commercial transporters in the State over the way and manner they have gone about with enforcing a law that sadly had been declared illegal. What is uppermost in the minds of these brute and savage enforcers is not the seeming benefits of the law if any, but how much enters their pockets on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Rather than visit the Parks, they rather go to the highway to ambush the supposed beneficiaries of the law, Deltans. What a Goverment!
While we concede to the fact that it is the responsibility of the State House of Assembly to make laws for the State, a law must be made to be in tune with the realities on ground. It must totally align with respect for human rights as enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Constitution as amended. Any law that tends to work hardship on the people must not be allowed to stand. And we dare to say that the State Government is not in tune with present realities in the State.
Also, a Goverment of the people must ensure adequate publicity/sensitization before it goes ahead with driving enforcement. That is, the governed has the right to know of the existence of such a law and not same being used as a tool of surprise and witch-hunting. That is, assuming but not conceding that the law has not been declared null and void by a competent court.
Delta APC calls on the PDP led-Government of Delta State to pursue its appeal at the Court of Appeal, if any; rather than using the modus operandi of gangsters to circumvent the judgement of the High Court of Justice, Otor-Udu. Also, citizens should be sensitized on the benefits of the law if any, instead of using brute force to enforce same.
If truly the Governor of Delta State has the interest of Deltans at heart, Delta APC urges him to suspend further actions in respect of the enforcement of the law until issues and/ or concerns raised are addressed.
Sylvester Imonina, Esq.,
Publicity Secretary (Caretaker) APC Delta State.
28th July, 2021.