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Pandemonium over enforcement of Okada ban in Lagos

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The suspects

Days after motorcycle operators vowed not to leave Lagos roads, residents and passers-by at the Cele Bus Stop, Lagos, yesterday witnessed gunshots from the Lagos State Task Force who were in the area to enforce the ban on motorcycle operation.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had insisted on a total ban on Okada operation in some areas, taking effect from June so that the First and Last Mile Buses (FLM) could take over the inner roads.

According to residents, officers of the task force stormed the area and started shooting sporadically to seize motorcycles from the riders, but left after some minutes.

The action caused pandemonium as residents and passers-by who witnessed the gunshot scampered to safety.

Many also took to social media to warn motorists to avoid the area. One of such messages claimed that cultists were engaging one another in a free for all.

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However, the situation was brought under control at about 10: 15a.m. The riders also returned to the road, but were cautious not to be arrested with their bikes.

MEANWHILE, the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit, popularly called ‘Taskforce,’ has arrested three suspects posing as local government traffic officers, extorting motorists in Oshodi.

The suspects claimed to be working with Oshodi–Isolo Local Government, Oshodi.

They were arrested on the orders of the chairman, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit, CSP Shola Jejeloye, after receiving complaints from some of their victims.

The arrested suspects include: Samuel Oyegbule, 52; Olayiwola Thomas, 53 and Kola Taiwo, 47.

The suspect had, on Wednesday, extorted about N25,000 from one of their victims for obstruction. Another victim equally alleged he was extorted of the same amount the previous day.

According to the first victim who did not want his name mentioned, “they walked up to my vehicle while waiting for the traffic light in Oyetayo Street. They knocked on my side glass and I wound down to listen to them. They said I have committed a traffic offence and I was forced to Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Secretariat, Oshodi, where I was made to cough up N25,000 as fine.”

The second victim, a bolt driver, said: “I was arrested for dropping my client in front of his house in the inner street of Oshodi. It wasn’t a major road or expressway or where there are bus stops. They refused to listen to my explanation. They charged me with a fine of N25,000.”

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