The Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State has restrained the West Agro Input Dealers Association (WAIDA) from forcing Artisans, Peasants and Traders Association of Nigeria (APTAN) or any other persons to join them against their will.

It also ordered WAIDA to pay a sum of N200,000 for the expired agro chemical products confiscated from one Abdul Ganiy Adebayo, in addition to awarding a sum of N500,000 as damages.

In a 12-page judgement, Justice M. A. Onyetenu ruled that WAIDA and its members violated the rights of one Mr AbdulGaniy Adebayo, an APTAN member, for confiscating his wares after refusing to join WAIDA in Osun State.

Onyetenu ordered the Respondents – WAIDA, represented by its leaders, one Mr Kolade (aka Baba Kolade and Mr Rafiu Olaniyi to release and deliver to the third applicants (Abdul Ganiy Adebayo), his confiscated products immediately.

She also ordered the Respondents to pay the market value of any of his good which have expired in their possession within seven days.

The judge also declared any form of harassment, molestation, intimidation or threat to the Applicants and their members from operating the business of agro chemical products or any form of trading throughout Osun State as: “illegal, unconstitutional and violates the applicants’ rights to peaceful association as guaranteed in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Articles 10 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and People (Ratification and Enforcement) Act

While WAIDA’s counsel was not in court to comment on the ruling, APTAN’s counsel, Sakirat A. Asafa-Olaore described the judgement as a victory for the oppressed, the vulnerable and the weak in the society.

She urged artisans and peasants to always take courage to pursue their rights and wrest it from their oppressors through the legal means, stressing that it is only through such that justice, equity and fair play can be maintained and sustained in the society.

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