June 16, 2009

Police ban Okada at MMA

By Kenneth Ehigiator
The Commissioner in charge of Murtala Muhammed Airport Police Command, Mr. Jonathan Johnson, yesterday warned military and police personnel who use their motorcycles to ferry commuters around the airport to withdraw them from the road.

The warning came against the backdrop of recent order on commercial motorcyclists, otherwise known as Okada riders, to stop operating around the airport.

Johnson, who spoke at a briefing in Lagos yesterday, said it was illegal for motorcycles to be operated around the airport, adding that not even military or police personnel would be spared.

He said the withdrawal order became necessary because of incessant incidents of robbery around the airport caused by some motorcycle operators.

He said already no fewer than nine motorcycles belonging to military personnel were impounded last week, adding that the motorcycles were released to the owners due to the intervention of the relevant military authorities.

“We impounded nine of the motorcycles belonging to the military personnel last week, but we had to release them to their superiors who have promised to prevent a recurrence.

“We will not condone any Okada operating around the airport anymore, and any violator will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” Johnson said.

The police commissioner, who noted that the police had arrested six touts already charged and remanded in prison, said men of the command also apprehended a couple who allegedly imported 1,800kg of cocaine from Venezuela, adding that they had been handed over to the Airport Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation.

Johnson said the command has identified two black spots around the airport, namely Suya spot and Airport-Oshodi road, where foreign exchange businesses go on, adding that men of the command would continue to raid the spots to flush out undesirable elements there-in.