By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Arji Donald
Ahead of the March 3, 2012, hearing of a suit filed against Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority, TIMA-RIV, drivers operating under the aegis of People’s Rights Organisation, PRO, have accused the agency of molesting its members, who are mainly commercial drivers.
Speaking through its president, Chris Nwadigo, PRO said the activities of the transport authority had allegedly rendered over 10,000 persons jobless.
The group also accused the agency of disobeying judicial pronouncements, which restrained it from arresting their vehicles, pending the determination of the suit they filed before a Federal High Court in Port-harcourt.
PRO had dragged the agency to court asking for the interpretation of the laws establishing the agency and its roles in road management.
The drivers, who shifted their battle ground against the agency to Lagos from Port Harcourt, claimed that TIMA-RIV has created a bad human rights records for Rivers State government through its activities.
Nwadigo noted that they would soon take their protest to the National Assembly in view of the seeming support of the government for the agency, not withstanding its excesses. He accused TIMA-RIV of allegedly “using armed soldiers to deprive our members of their only means of livelihood, right to work, right to free movement, right to fair hearing, by confiscating and detaining our commercial vehicles.”
He said over 500 vehicles belonging to its members had so far been arbitrarily confiscated and detained by TIMA-RIV operatives without their owners being charged to court for any offence.
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Rivers drivers allege molestation by TIMA-RIV