No fewer than 12 suspected commercial motorcycle (okada) riders were arrested yesterday for allegedly attacking operatives of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Agency (Taskforce) at Alapere, Ketu, on the Lagos mainland.
The suspects were alleged to have, together with some other fellow riders, attacked members of the agency’s enforcement team yesterday.
The agency said the riders also damaged four of its vehicles during their attack on the operatives and severely injured one of its drivers, Ojo Tobiloba, who was understood to be receiving treatment at a hospital.
The Chairman of the agency, Olayinka Egbeyemi, stated that its enforcement team and men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) had responded to a distress call that some protesters were about to burn down the Alapere police station over the agency’s clamp-down on Monday on commercial motorcycle operators plying illegal routes.
The new Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, had directed the agency last weekend to commence the sanitisation of the operation of commercial bus drivers, as well as that of motorcycle and tricycle riders flouting the state’s traffic laws.
Egbeyemi explained that when the enforcement team arrived at the Alapere police station, the ‘okada’ riders attacked them with stones, iron rods, broken bottles and cutlasses.
He explained that the riders injured the officers and damaged their vehicles in the process.
Egbeyemi said that 38 suspects were initially arrested during the fracas, but that 26 of them were later released after thorough screening.
He disclosed that Odumosu had directed that the remaining 12 suspects be immediately charged to court.
He revealed that the agency had on Monday impounded 493 commercial motorcycles when taskforce operatives, with the support of RRS men, caught their riders contravening the law by plying restricted routes in the Alapere, Ketu and Mile 2 axis of the state.