Policemen harass, chase LASBCA officials on inspection from construction site
The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) yesterday lamented alleged police harassment and obstruction of some of its officials who were on enforcement duty in the Ajah axis of the state.
Mobile policemen popularly known as MOPOL attached as security operatives guarding an ongoing construction site at Olumide Madariola street, Sea Side Estate, Badore Ajah, had allegedly attacked and seized personal effects belonging to a team of LASBCA officials who were on official assignment on Monday.
Narrating their ordeal, the LASBCA team stated that they were acting on the directive of the General Manager of the agency after several reports of illegal and non-conforming construction were cited in that part of the state.
According to the leader of the team who pleaded for anonymity, trouble started when the LASBCA team noticed ongoing works on a construction site that had been previously sealed by the agency after they had visited other properties in the area. The team then approached the workmen on site and asked for necessary documents required by law for construction, but rather than produce the documents, a couple of mobile policemen dressed in black MOPOL t-shirts pounced on them, forced them into the compound against their will and held them, hostage, for several hours.
A source said: “One of the policemen referred to as Joseph shot sporadically into the air making passersby scramble for safety. Once they held them hostage they started shooting on the ground around them to scare the officers who were made to sit on the floor. However, it took the intervention of a lawyer living in the vicinity to rescue the officials who had their phones confiscated.”
The General Manager of LASBCA, Biola Kosegbe, while reacting to the incident, condemned the act by the policemen. She wondered why law enforcement officers who are charged with protecting lives and properties of citizens would resort to obstructing and harassing innocent state officials who were fully kited and drove a branded official vehicle to carry out their assignment.
She disclosed that the agency has made necessary reports to the police authority and both the owner/developer and the two policemen will be prosecuted for infringing on the rights of the officials.
Kosegbe warned erring owners/developers to stop harassing officers of the agency who are only performing their lawful duties, to ensure that all buildings within the state are safe, secure and habitable.
Also reacting to the development, the state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, said that such act will not be tolerated and would not deter officials of the ministry and its agencies from carrying out their official assignment.
He reiterated that the zero tolerance to illegal construction, which has impacted negatively on physical planning in the state, would continue till full compliance is achieved.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State government yesterday demolished a two-storey building located on Western Avenue. The building, which was situated on Olaosun Close by Abati Barracks, Surulere, was said to have failed integrity test.
It was gathered that several fractures on the structure had prompted officials of LASBCA to issue vacation notices to all tenants and sealed the premises.