Seven arraigned at Lagos mobile court for alleged illegal dredging
The Lagos State government yesterday arraigned seven illegal dredgers picked up along the waterfront in Lagos.
The suspects were engaging in the business of sand dredging along the waterfront without obtaining the necessary operational permit. They include Salaudeen Oyebode, Barnabas Bathelomen, Owefe Ovie, Akinlosotun Temidayo, Lucky Faith, Ateniola Yetunde and Promise Nkiruka.
According to the prosecutor, the suspects committed an offence punishable under Section 20(1) of the Lagos State Water Front Infrastructure Development law, 2009.
Nnamdi Ahamefula, the lawyer representing the suspects, while pleading on their behalf, said: “I am disappointed with the Lagos State government, knowing fully well that the case of who has proprietary right is still in court between it and the Federal Government. I am here to know what it is the state government wants from them.”
One of the suspects, Nkiruka, while narrating her ordeal, said: “Yesterday I was at the site, some people came in with document and task force and there were harassing us. We decided to go with them not to create a scene for nothing we know about. We slept in the cell yesterday for an offence we don’t know of. This morning, we were brought to court.”
Owefe Ovie, a youth corps member, who came to visit his friends at the site, was also arrested. “I am not serving in Lagos, I only came to visit my friend at the site where he work and I was arrested for dredging,” he said.
Magistrate Adejuwon Amos after hearing their plea, adjourned the case to October 19 for further hearing while he granted the suspects bail in the sum of N200,000.
Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Mobile Court, Mr. Taofeek Adebayo, warned citizens to desist from illegal business. “Immediately we caught them, the case was reported to the Commissioner of Police, who promptly ordered that they should be charge to court.”