The Lagos State Government on Tuesday read the riot act to vandals in the state, restating that there is zero tolerance for their activities.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab stated this while speaking on the arrest of a suspected vandal, Abba Mohammed (Aged 24) for allegedly vandalising and stealing iron in concrete barriers built by the State Government at System 1 Odo Iya Alaro main stream, Opebi Link Bridge. 

According to him, the accused, who claimed to hail from Kano State, was caught in the act as he alongside other accused Saad and Muritala (both at large) broke down the concrete barriers and extracted the iron.

“Over the years theft and vandalism of government properties, especially items and public infrastructure that are valuable and profitable have become the target of these people, a situation that we can no longer condone”, he stated.

Wahab explained that the concrete barriers are built along all drainage channels/canals by the Ministry across the State to separate the Drainage/Canal Right of Way from encroachment by residents.

He stated that the arrest took place on Tuesday morning following information from a whistleblower, who told State officials that those miscreants who specialise in removing the irons from the concrete barriers were currently carrying out their operations.

Abba, who resides in one of the shanties close to the canal, claimed that the concrete barriers fell and that he only tried to remove the irons for personal use, pleading that he was not aware the concrete barriers were built for a purpose by the government. 

The accused also tried to escape while being conveyed to the state Ministry of the Environment, Alausa and in the process broke the side window Nissan Bus of the Ministry.

The accused has been handed over to the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences for further investigation and prosecution. 

The Commissioner warned the public against the vandalism and sale of items like railings on sidewalks, bridges, railroad tracks, irons from concrete barriers as well as manhole covers, stressing that anyone caught will face the law.

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