The President, National Association of Nigerian Railway Senior Citizens, Leshi Emmanuel Leshi, has pleaded with the Presidency to intervene and compel the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and the officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation from going ahead with their plans to evict them from the staff quarters despite court judgment restraining them.
Leshi disclosed this yesterday at a media briefing with Journalist in Lagos.
He decried the invasion of China Civil Engineering Corporation (CCEC) into the Nigerian Railway compound to acquire the premises under the disguise of construction of railway lines in Lagos, and said such an illegal act by the Chinese should not be allowed.
He also raised the alarm that because of the strategic location of the property, Chinese investors are increasingly targeting the takeover of the Ebute Metta railway compound staff quarters, which the Ministry of Transportation allegedly used as collateral to enable the Federal government access undisclosed sum of money from China Export bank.
He further described the NRC deliberate disregard to court orders as an affront on the rule of law and the anti corruption crusade of the present administration.
According to him, “with the deal entered with the Chinese Government by the Ministry of Transportation in collaboration with the management of Nigerian Railway, the Nigerian Railway compound situated at Lagos in Ebute Metta, may finally lose its century-old status to be known as China Town, as they are cohabiting with railway staff occupying about half of the land area.
Still speaking “the Ministry, without recourse to the judgment of National Industrial Court of Nigeria which was delivered regarding the Railway quarters in favour of the Railway staff on January 6, 2016, and the on-going trial at the Court of Appeal, has allegedly used the Nigerian Railway staff quarters in the compound as a collateral to enable the federal government to access the Chinese Government’s loan of undisclosed sum from the china Exim bank.
“The Managing Director, NRC, on December 6, 2018 directed relevant departments to commence demolition of the so called illegal structures in the contentious Railway staff quarters, this is a ploy to further strip the workers of their legitimate rights on the staff quarters which is still a subject of litigation before trial and appellate courts,” he explained.
The senior citizens however appealed to the Presidency to quickly intervene by calling all stakeholders to order, asking the relevant authorities to obey the court judgment.
“We demand that the NRC management desist from harassing the occupants of Railway quarters under the guise of census enumeration, intruding into appurtenances, comply with the judgment of the court and begin the process of monetization policy of July 20005.” he added.