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Drama as soldiers beat up Lagos officials for seizing hawkers’ wares

by on February 27, 2020
 

The enforcement team of the Ikoyi/Victoria Island Clean-up Committee of the Lagos State Government has been attacked by some military personnel.

BreakinTimes gathered that the incident happened at the Bonny Camp on the Victoria Island.

In a statement on Wednesday, the government said the team had been conducting daily raids on the area.

The officials were said to have on Tuesday visited the roundabout and under the bridge opposite the Bonny Camp, which served as a store and distribution point for goods sold on the streets.

The statement said, “Immediately the exercise commenced, the operatives were confronted by some uniformed military personnel, who prevented them from seizing the items and taking them away.

“The military personnel, some of whom were in mufti, questioned the audacity of the Lagos State Government officials to conduct raids near a military facility and resorted to beating up all identified officials of the state in sight.

 “The action of the military men emboldened some of the street traders, who resorted to hurling stones and other dangerous items at the officials, who were on official duty.

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“Attempts were made to smash the video camera of one of the television stations attached to the enforcement team, while a public affairs officer was also assaulted and had his mobile phone damaged.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Tunji Bello, expressed sadness at the action of the uniformed men.

Bello, who is also the state Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, said as part of the proactive measures taken by the committee, letters of intents were written to the various military and police formations to inform them of the operations in Ikoyi and VI.

Meanwhile, a total of 23 people were arrested for street trading, breach of the public peace and obstructing the highways during the enforcement.

Those arrested were charged before a special offences mobile court, which sat at the Falomo roundabout in Ikoyi and handed out appropriate punishments.

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Meanwhile, the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit has issued a seven-day removal notice to owners and occupiers of illegal structures around public schools in Mile 2, along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

The Chairman of the agency, Olayinka Egbeyemi, who gave the notice during a meeting with the owners and occupiers of the illegal structures and sectional heads of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, ordered that all shanties, mechanic workshops, petty traders’ shops, containerised kiosks and commercial bus garages must be removed within the stipulated period.

Egbeyemi stated that the order became imperative due to complaints from the residents of the area and the management of the schools about hoodlums turning the area into hideouts to carry out their criminal activities.

He said, “It was disheartening seeing these illegal business operators like mechanics, iron benders, food/fruit vendors and others turning the entire perimeter fence of these schools into illegal trading spots. They have littered the entire area with indiscriminate dumping of refuse and waste metal materials.

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“Investigation conducted revealed that these illegal structures and shanties, which serve as an abode for criminal elements, who rob unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables along highways on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, do not have any permit or operating licence from the Lagos State Government.”

Egbeyemi added that after the expiration of the removal order on March 4, 2020, the task force would embark on a clean-up of the area.

The chairman cautioned the traders and occupiers of the illegal structures not to attempt to bribe anyone in order to prevent the removal, adding that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had approved monetary compensation for those who deserve it.

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