From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Former president of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) and an environmentalist, Ledum Mitee, has sued the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, over the deplorable condition of the East/West road.
Mitee filed the motion on notice at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday, for gross neglect and violation of his fundamental human rights, in suit number: FHC/PH/FHR/158/201.
The former MOSOP president is also representing the interest of natives, residents and communities of Eleme, Ogoni, Okrika, Ogu/Bolo, Andoni in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states. Mitee, a lawyer, is also representing commuters of the Port Harcourt-Onne junction section of the East/West Road. The motion was made pursuant to Order II, Rules 1 and 3 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, and Section 40, 41 (1) and 42 (1)(B) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. In a five-paragraph prayer, supported by a 24-paragraph affidavit, the former MOSOP president accused the respondents of being responsible for the carnage on the road.
The motion stated: “The action and, or inaction of the Federal Government in failing to reconstruct or putting the affected area of the East/West Road in motorable or good condition, violated his (applicant) constitutional rights to freedom of movement and association.”
He insisted that the death trap to which the Eleme -Onne junction section of the East/West Road had been turned into, was occasioned by insufficient provision of resources by the Federal Government to complete the section of the road.
“The imbalance in allocation and disbursement of funds and resources by the concerned agencies of government across the country for similar road projects, has violated his (applicant) constitutional right to freedom from discrimination.”
He noted that the motor accidents, which have claimed lives on the road, were caused by the bad condition of the road. Mitee urged the “Federal Government to, forthwith, complete and/or fund the completion of the axis of the East/West Road from Eleme junction in Rivers State, provide adequate funds and resources to repair and fix the collapsed parts of the road.”
The grounds on which Mitee is holding the Federal Government to account, among others, include “that he can no longer practice his profession as a lawyer in the courts in Eleme and Bori, all in Rivers, due to the deplorable state of the portion of the road leading to loss of income.
“Also, that he can no longer travel to his village in Ogoniland to associate with his family members and attend to other needs at home.”