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Police checkpoints remain despite purported dismantling by CP

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Despite the order by Lagos State police boss, Hakeem Odumosu, dismantling checkpoints on Badagri-Seme corridor, investigations at the weekend showed that roadblocks on that axis still remained unabated.

A resident of the area, who confided in The Guardian, noted that the directive was taken with a pinch of salt as roadblocks had since returned in the last 24 hours.

A check yesterday revealed that between Badagry Round-About to Seme, over 15 checkpoints were mounted by policemen.

“Between Okomaiko to Agbara, policemen flood the road with checkpoints from 6.30pm. It is usually done at nightfall. The commissioner of police just made a pronouncement without following it up with strict monitoring,” the source said.

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The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Odumosu, had, on Saturday, ordered the dismantling of all illegal police roadblocks on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

The state police command’s spokesman, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, had said in a statement that Odumosu issued the directives to commanders and divisional police officers in the command.

According to them: “In his bid to restore sanity and decency to operations of the police on Lagos/Badargy Expressway, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered the immediate dismantling of illegal road blocks by police teams from the State Command.

“He ordered the area commanders and divisional police officers whose jurisdictions fall along Badargy Expressway, FESTAC and Area K, Marogbo, to withdraw their men from illegal roadblocks.

“He directed that they embark on aggressive motorised patrol and surveillance to police their areas and the route.

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“The Commissioner of Police confirmed that illegal roadblocks on the route have been condemned by government, international bodies and interest groups and they must be dismantled without delay,” he said.

It was discovered that the distance from one checkpoint to the other was less than a quarter of a kilometre.

Ordinarily, a first-time visitor to the border or travelling to any of the neighbouring West African countries through that route would be misled to believe that either there was a state of emergency on that route as to warrant heavy presence of police personnel, apart from the presence of customs and immigration officials.

At every checkpoint, which is often barricaded with some empty 25 litres Jerry cans with long ropes tied to them, the fierce-looking policemen, wielding their guns, would audaciously ask any commercial driver to part with some money.

Travellers and pundits are worried by the fact that such unbefitting practices take place on an international corridor where ECOWAS travellers are similarly treated.

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