…..Committee warns liaison offices, property owners against harbouring street traders, okada riders

The Special Committee on the Clean Up of IKoyi and VIctoria Island on Sunday announced that it has, so far, impounded 215 vehicles and prosecuted 98 persons for various environmental offenses since the commencement of the exercise.

A release signed by the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, who also chairs the committee, revealed that vehicles were impounded from various areas in Ikoyi and Victoria Island for parking in prohibited zones while some were removed from mechanic workshops located in unauthorised places.

He said those arrested include street traders who displayed their wares on walkways, road setbacks, those operating illegal car wash centres, automobile mechanics who converted public spaces to workshops as well as some drivers who contravened the law and resisted the impoundment of their vehicles.

Bello explained that those arrested were arraigned before mobile courts at the Safety Arena In Oshodi and another location in Victoria Island during one of the several raids and handed out various sentences, including fines.

While disclosing that perishable goods seized by the Lago State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) were immediately sent to the various orphanages and motherless babies homes spread across the State, Bello stated that non-perishable items are being kept at the Agency’s store in Oshodi until a decision is taken on the seized items.

The Chairman added that since the commencement of the exercise on January 10, the Special Committee and its enforcement gangs made up of operatives of the State Task Force on Environmental and Special offenses, the Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps(LAGESC), Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps and the Lagos State Waste Management Authority(LAWMA) have also been conducting daily raids across several streets to clear all shanties and structures on drainage channels as well as occupants of abandoned buildings.

He warned those managing liaison offices and other abandoned buildings against harbouring okada riders and street traders, many of who usually seek refuge in them when raids are carried out, maintaining that if the practice continued, the Committee would compile the list of such abandoned offices, publish same and possibly advice the State Government to take legal measures to acquire such buildings.

Bello emphasised that the Committee will intensify the clean up campaign until complete sanity is restored in all the areas of Ikoyi and Victoria Island.

He listed some of the streets where the Clean-up Committee operated and removed shanties, structures on drainage setbacks, street traders and roadside mechanics as well as cart pushers to include Ahmadu Bello Way, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Kofo Abayomi, Idowu Martins, Anifowoshe, Adeola Odeku, Saka Tinubu, BIshop Oluwole, Amodu Ojikutu, Ologun Agbaje, Akin Adesola, Adeola Hopewell, Churchgate, Idowu Taylor and Tiamiyu Savage.

Others streets include Karimu Kotun, Olosa, Oko Awo, Sanusi Fafunwa, Balarabe Musa, BIshop Aboyade-Cole, Ligali Ayorinde and Ajose Adeogun while the areas already cleared in Ikoyi include Bank Road, Bedwell Road, Bourdillon Road, Alexander Avenue, Gerrard Road, Queens Drive, Olumegbon Road, Olawale Daodu Road, Thompson Avenue, Club Road, Awolowo Road and Second Avenue.

Also speaking on the exercise, the Director of Operations, who also doubles as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Waste Monitoring, Mr. Ayo Williams, said the Clean-Up Committee is determined to force a relocation for all street traders as well as owners and occupiers of shanties and illegal structures in Ikoyi and Victoria Island by seizing their wares, dismantling the structures and prosecuting those arrested on a daily basis, both day and night.

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