Nigerian Senior Citizens Protest Against Sale Of Railway Quarters’ Property

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The senior citizens displayed placards with various inscriptions such as “Railway Police Enugu, Stop Aiding and Abetting Contempt of Court,” “Railway Police Command, Emulate Enugu State Police Command CID on Court Order,”
The retired workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, under the aegis of Railway Senior Citizens Association Eastern District, Enugu on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest in Enugu against the illegal sale of Railway Quarter premises.

According to the retirees, this is in violation of a subsisting court judgment.

The senior citizens displayed placards with various inscriptions such as “Railway Police Enugu, Stop Aiding and Abetting Contempt of Court,” “Railway Police Command, Emulate Enugu State Police Command CID on Court Order,” “Anthony Okhibenor (Zonal Manager, Railway Property Company Limited Enugu) Must Go, His Sins Are Too Much,” “DHRO Enugu Stop Allocation Of Quarters And Backdating,” and “Railway Police Command, Obey Court Orders”.

The protestors also sang solidarity songs.

Addressing journalists, the chairman of the association, Mr Monday Nnonah, decried the level of impunity with which government officials allegedly violate valid and subsisting court orders yet still occupy offices.

Nnonah said that the Zonal Manager, Railway Property Company Limited, Enugu, Mr Anthony Okhibenor, has been allegedly selling off their quarters’ premises with impunity, contrary to a court order, which gave them the right to fight rejection under the federal government’s monetization policy.

In their protest letter handed over to the Railway District Manager, Enugu, the protestors demanded among other things, that the “Zonal Manager, Railway Property Company Limited, Enugu should be redeployed following his illegal selling of our quarters’ premises with impunity, contrary to court order”.

They also asked that a stop should be put to the “use of police to intimidate our members”.

The letter further read, “DHRO, NRC Enugu should stop allocation of quarters and backdating of the letters.

“DHRO NRC Enugu to stop illegal ejection of monetization beneficiaries. Zonal Manager (ED) Railway property company should desist from infringing on the rights of our members as contained in the National Industrial Court judgement on the monetization of Nigerian Railway Quarters, delivered by Justice B.A. Adejumo on January 6, 2016, in Suit No: NICN/LA/11/2011.”

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Citing numerous quarters that the officials of Railway property company had already trespassed contrary to a National Industrial Court judgement, the protestors warned that in case of any breakdown of law and order within the premises as a result of disrespect to rule of law, the Association should not be held responsible.

Justice Adejumo of the National Industrial Court in a 63-page judgment made available to SaharaReporters had ordered the Defendants (Nigerian Railway Corporation) to offer for sale residential quarters/accommodation occupied by members of the Claimants who are legal sitting tenants in compliance with the monetization policy of the Federal Government.

“The Court further made an order setting aside any offer made by any third party and perpetually restrained the Defendants from offering for bid purchase or selling the houses without first availing members of the Claimant who are legal sitting tenants the opportunity to purchase the houses,” part of the judgment read.