…..Committee warns liaison offices, buildings serving as hiding places for street traders, okada riders of dire consequences
The Special Committee on the Clean Up of IKoyi and VIctoria Island on Sunday announced that it has so far impounded 215 vehicles and arrested and prosecuted 98 persons for various sundry environmental offenses since the commencement of the exercise.
In a release signed by the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello who also chairs the committee, the 215 vehicles were impounded from various areas in Ikoyi and Victoria Island for parking in prohibited zones and mechanic workshops located in unauthorized places.
He said those arrested included street traders who displayed their wares on walkways, road set backs, those operating illegal car wash centers and auto mobile mechanics who converted public spaces to mechanic workshops as well as some drivers of contravened vehicles who resisted the impoundment of the vehicles.
He explained that those arrested were arraigned before mobile courts which sat at the Safety Arena Mobile court In Oshodi and another mobile court which sat in Victoria Island during one of the several raids and handed out sentences which included fines.
He informed that in terms of goods seized, those that are perishable are immediately sent to the various orphanages and motherless babies homes spread across the state by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps(LAGESC) while non- perishable items are being kept at the agency store at Oshodi pending when a decision will be 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, 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 types of buildings, some of which have been abandoned, against serving as hiding places for okada riders and street traders, many of who usually seek refuge in them when raids are carried out.
He warned that if the practice continued, the committee would compile the list of such abandoned offices, publish it and may advice the State Government to take legal measures to acquire such buildings.
Bello emphasised that the committe 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 were the clean- up committee have operated and cleared shanties, structures on Drainage setbacks, street traders and roadside mechanics, cart pushers include Ahmadu Bello Way, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Koko Abayomi, Idowu Martins, Anifowoshe, Adeola Odeku, Saka Tinubu, BIshop Oluwole, Amodu Ojikutu, Ologun Agbeje, Akin Adesola, Adeola Hopewell, Churchgate, Idowu Taylor and Tiamiyu Savage.
Others include Karimu Kotun, Olosa street, 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,Olawale Daodu, Thompson and Club Road, Awolowo road and Second Avenue.
Also speaking on the exercise, the director of operation, 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 and 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.