By Olasunkanmi Akoni
As part of on-going zero-tolerance enforcement declared against all illegal street trading activities across the state, operatives of Lagos State Taskforce, yesterday, arrested 15 illegal traders for prosecution in Oyingbo area of the state.
Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Olayinka Egbeyemi, who led the enforcement team in collaboration with the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps, LAGESC, said the suspects were arrested during enforcement to dislodge over 15,00 trespassers in the area.
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Egbeyemi lamented that the illegal trading persisted, despite several warnings to traders, in displaying and selling wares on main roads, medians, road-setbacks, drainage alignments as well as railway tracks around the entire Oyingbo Market area.
He said the action of the traders impeded the free flow of traffic along the axis, insisting that the state government would not tolerate such illegal activities that violate the environmental laws of the State.
According to the Chairman, Section (1) of the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law of 2003 prohibits both buyers and sellers from engaging in business activities at an unauthorised place, while the penalty for engaging in illegal street-trading is a fine N90,000 or six-month jail term for anyone found guilty of contravening the law.
“The enforcement operation was also meant to protect lives of those illegal traders from unforeseen circumstances such as accident from reckless private/commercial drivers and also to decongest traffic gridlock along that axis,” he added.
While warning those engaged in illegal street-trading to desist from endangering their lives and operate inside the designed ‘Oyingbo Ultra-Modern Market’ built by the Lagos State Government, Egbeyemi disclosed that all the suspects will be charged to court for prosecution as soon as possible.