The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force), yesterday, said it busted some miscreants numbering about 150 at Allen Avenue, who disguised as commercial motorcyclists while perpetuating nefarious activities.
The agency also said no fewer than 60 of their motorcycles, popularly called Okada were impounded and 20 of the miscreants arrested.
Director, Press & Public Affairs, Lagos State Taskforce, Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, in a statement, yesterday said the action is in furtherance of ridding the state of criminals hideouts, black spots, and menace of commercial motorcyclists, illegal tickets on the state’s highways as well as freeing the state from menace of hoodlums and street urchins popularly known as area boys.
The statement said the task force has commenced its tactical and strategic enforcement for compliance operations for the year 2022, to nip in the bud every intending criminal activity and entrench total sanity in the state throughout the year, to achieve the state’s vision of zero-tolerance for criminal elements.
The statement also quoted the Chairman of the State Taskforce, CSP Shola Jejeloye, as saying the agency impounded 19 vehicles displayed for sale on walkways at Ladipo, just as 43 tricycles plying restricted routes on the highways were confiscated, with 40 illegal street traders arrested, who will all face the mobile court for prosecution, sooner than later.
Jejeloye maintained that the agency had started the year on a good note, and it is evident that the year 2022 in Lagos is not a safe haven for criminals and environmental law offenders in the state.
IN a related development, operatives of the agency have arrested a 35 –year- old ex-convict, Ismaila Salami,
who specializes in impounding commercial motorcycles, under the guise of being an official of the agency.
The suspect was arrested at Oshodi on Thursday after he seized a bike from an unsuspecting commercial rider at Mushin and rode the bike down to Oshodi, where he was accosted by policemen attached to the agency and questioned, till he confessed to the crime.
He confessed to being an ex-convict, who got into the business of swindling commercial riders right after he got out of the correctional center.
He stated that this was his first time operating alone as he has a gang of over five men who jointly go out on illegal patrols to impound Okada from their owners.
“We do not get paid by the local council. We just go out on illegal patrols around our axis to see who we can arrest and bully till he parts with some money before we release his bike. We usually charge between 3,000 to 4,000 Naira per bike.”
Recovered from the suspect is an ID card with the inscription ‘Mushin Local Government, Taskforce Okada Board”
“He will be charged to court while investigations are ongoing to ensure that all other criminal elements, who go about tarnishing the image of the Agency are arrested and brought to book.”
Jejeloye urged the public to furnish the agency with details of any illegal activities going on around their area.
He further said that the agency would come out with full force to make the state unbearable for any criminal and violator of the state environmental laws this year.