LAGOS, Nigeria – Operatives of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) were allegedly injured while carrying out enforcement on street traders along Queens Drive in Ikoyi, leaving three operational trucks damaged.
The exercise, which was part of the governor’s mandate to clear the state of all environmental nuisance and infractions such as street trading on walk ways/setbacks as well as erection of illegal shanties across the State, was led by the Deputy Corps Marshal in charge of Operations, Mr. Ganiu Kazeem and Deputy Corps Marshal, Discipline and Staff Welfare, Mr. Adeleke Adeeso.
In a statement by the Head of the Agency Public Affairs Unit, Kehinde Adebayo on Saturday, the Deputy Corps Marshal in charge of Operations, Mr. Ganiu Kazeem, said during the exercise, staff of the Federal High Court, who were known to patronise the street traders obstructed the operatives while dislodging the street traders who had earlier been given several notices to vacate the location due to blockage of drainage channels.
Kazeem explained that the team arrived at the scene of the incident at about 1:45 pm but were attacked by staff of the Federal High Court with the support of private security personnel, hurling stones, iron rods, broken bottles and cutlasses and leaving members of the enforcement team injured.
He maintained that the operation had nothing to do with the staff of the Court but it was discovered that the hawkers were paying rent to the private security of the Court thereby necessitating the intervention by court personnel.
The Deputy Corp Marshal confirmed that some of suspects were arrested during the fracas, while the case was also immediately reported at the Ikoyi Police Station for further investigation, advising Lagosians to comply with the laws on street trading as the government would no longer tolerate the slightest attack on any enforcement personnel.
According to the statement, the injured enforcement officers include; Oyedokun Samson (driver), Iwatan Oluwa Seun, Riwatan Oluwatobi and Shipeolu Babatunde and are currently receiving treatment while one of them who was stabbed in the neck is still in critical condition.
The Corp Mashal of the Agency, CP Gbemisola Akinpelu (retd) reiterated the determination of the agency to ensure that all the citizens in the state abide by the stipulated environmental regulations of the State noting that nobody in the state is above the law and warning people to desist from attacking enforcement officers out to carry their legal duties.