Members of Edo Civil society Organizations, EDCSOs have kicked against abuse of court processes in Nigeria judiciary, cautioning that such a nuance encourages civil disobedience in the nation.
The body echoed this concern on Saturday at the general meeting of all affiliate Organisations and study Centres in Edo State where it reviewed state-of-the-the nation and passed a resolution on other issues of concern.
While adopting the resolution for the demand for justice, the Interim TEC Chairman of EDOCSOs, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, wondered why the Federal High court in Benin is yet to assign a fundamental rights suit filed by EDOCSOs against the federal government to among others determine the eligibility of the government’s powers to block Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards through telecommunications subscribers in Nigeria or otherwise, has not been slated for hearing, seven months ago after the suit was filed.
Recall that the plaintiffs in the suit marked: FHC/B/CS/13/2021, Bishop Osadolor Anthony Ochei, Leftist Omobude Agho, Leftist Osazee Edigin, Miss Patience Okafor, Omoragbon Stella Asia, Omokhomion Judith Iguehi, Moshood Momodu and Larry Enabulele on behalf of themselves and members of the Edo Civil society Organizations while the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and Nigeria Communication Communication were listed as defendants.
Also listed as defendants are the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
The TEC Chairman said: “We took seven Federal government agencies to court, seeking an order to bar agencies from blocking SIM cards of subscribers by a mere pronouncement by the executive arm of government. We are not interested in who is losing or wining. It is about testing the laws.
“Sadly, between January 2021 till date, the case at the Federal High court has neither been assigned nor held by court. To worsen our plights, one day after we had filed the case, we were told that the two judges had been transferred almost the same day.
“We have spent over N100, 000 for filing court papers and others. Despite the fact that the case has not been held, we will not keep quiet”, he stressed.
Ochei thereafter charged members of the Organizations to be upright, steadfast, and resist any form of inducement by maverick politicians as well as shun acts that are untoward that could make them vulnerable to abuse.
Members of the Organization also voiced their distaste for selective justice and bemoaned the intolerable level of insecurity in Nigeria under President Mubammadu Buhari’s watch.
The body unanimously admonished the Edo Traffic Management to demarcate ‘No parking zones and locations’ towards checking abuse on the rights of lawful road users across the State not to plunge the State into anarchy.
Specifically, Leftist Osazee, demanded an end to illegal tow duties in a bid by EDTMA to meet their revenue target, thereby drifting into a money spinner through indiscriminate arrest of commuters against the letters and intent of the laws that established it to render public service.
“If you look at the whole City, there is no place marked ‘no parking’ yet if you park your vehicle, before you return in short period, your vehicle would have been towed. And when they tow your vehicle, and they discovered you were not wrong, they will ask you to pay for the towing van. Apparently, there are some persons that are making money out of this”, he stressed.
Summing up deliberation on the various submissions, the Interim TEC Chairman, Bishop Osadolor Echei who laid a groundwork on the the expectation of the public from activists.
“This EDMTA is doing their best, but because of money the Bible says is the route of all evil; They have defined for themselves all means of survival. They (EDTMA) now tow vehicles at locations.
“We had written to them that towing vehicles where has no sign of no parking is an oppression, and that if they must tow vehicles, they should place signs in such areas. If no sign and they tow any of our members’ vehicle, we will close their office”, according to the Interim TEC Chairman.
He also drew the attention of the members to a former written letter to EDTMA Management to end this oppression and exploitative tendencies.
According to him, “If they tow our members’ vehicle at any location in Edo State without ‘No parking sign, we will shutdown their office. But there is a caveat. This does not call for abuse or recklessness. We must protect our integrity by not breaking the laws. Even police know those who are activists in Edo State. They also know those who are into buying and selling in the name of activism in the State”.