*They Call On The Benue Governor To reverse ban on motorcycles
*Call on members of the general public whose motorcycles are impounded and destroyed to contact the NBA, Makurdi Branch to access free legal services
The Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi Branch has condemned the destruction of Impounded motorcycles in Katsina-Ala and other parts of Sakera area of Benue State
In a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer signed by its Chairman, Justin A. Gbagir, Esq., the Branch said the destruction by security operatives is against the directives of the Benue State Security Council and also an infringement of the citizen’s fundamental and constitutional rights to property ownership.
The statement reads in part, “On the 29th December, 2020, the Benue State Security Council considered the security situation in Katsina-Ala and other parts of Sankera area of Benue State consequent upon which it banned the use of motorcycles in Katsina-Ala and Ukum Local Government Areas. The ban amongst others further directed the security operatives to arrest defaulters and impound their motorcycles.
“Consequent to the above, the security operatives, especially the personnel of the army in Sankera axis have resorted to seizure and destruction of motorcycles including motorcycles found in people’s houses.
“While we commend the decision of the Benue State Security Council under the leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom, the Executive Governor of Benue State for not resting on its orders to ensure security of lives and properties in the State, the Nigerian Bar Association viewed the said ban and the consequent activities of the security operatives in the enforcement of the ban with a pint of salt.
“We observe with concerns that motorcycles are the commonest and affordable means of transportation, particularly in communities like Katsina-Ala, Logo, Ukum Local Government Areas and their environs. The ban on the use of motorcycles will naturally occasion untold hardship to commuters and farmers who rely heavily on the use of motorcycles as a means of transportation to access their farms.
“We note that, the inability of the government to provide white-collar jobs for the teaming unemployed youths, commercial motorcycling has become a refuge for the said teaming youths in Benue State. Some of the youths get their motorcycles through hire-purchase, some through long-term savings. To ban the use of motorcycles would therefore bring untold economic hardships on the teaming youths who would naturally become idle and resort to other unwholesome activities to earn a living.
“We further note that, the destruction of the impounded motorcycles by the security operatives is clearly against the directives of the Benue State Security Council. The action of the security operatives is clearly an infringement of the citizen’s fundamental and constitutional rights to property ownership.”
Therefore, the Branch called on the state government to reverse its decision on the ban of motorcycles
They also call on members of the general public whose motorcycles are impounded and destroyed to contact the NBA, Makurdi Branch to access free legal services
“The Nigerian Bar Association whose motto is ‘Promoting the Rule of Law’ cannot in this situation of brazen infringement on the rights of the citizens remain mute. Consequently, we wish to state as follows:
a) We call on the Benue State Security Council under the leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State to urgently review and reverse its decision to ban the use of motorcycles in Katsina-Ala, Ukum Local Government Areas and their environs.
b) The Government should resort to modern technology of providing cutting age and all-inclusive security services for the people rather than resorting to the pre-colonial and obsolete security practices that will rather cause untold hardship on the people.
c) We call on the security operatives to henceforth desist from the destruction of the impounded motorcycles.
d) We call on the members of the general public whose motorcycles are impounded and destroyed to contact the Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi Branch to access free legal services against the security operatives in order to seek redress.
“We reiterate once again that Nigerian Bar Association as a professional body that is responsible for promoting the Rule of Law, shall continue to advocate and insist that the Rule of Law be a guiding principle for all governmental actions in line with the extant laws. Anything short of that would be an invitation to anarchy and intolerable by the Bar.” the statement reads