By Olasunkanmi Akoni
At least six operatives of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps, LAGESC, have been hospitalised following severe injuries sustained when they were allegedly attacked by some staff of Federal High Court, Lagos Island.
Recalled that one of the officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, was killed last weekend, when a mob attacked him while on duty, at Ijora, Apapa area of the state. Another one was also attacked and hospitalized in Agege area.
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The LAGESC officers were attacked on Friday 6th of December, 2019, while carrying out enforcement on street traders along Queens Drive in Ikoyi, damaging three operational trucks in the process.
The exercise, which was part of the Governor’s mandate to clear the State of all environmental nuisance and infractions such as street trading on walk ways/setbacks as well as erection of illegal shanties across the State, was led by the Deputy Corps Marshal in charge of Operations, Mr. Ganiu Kazeem and Deputy Corps Marshal, Discipline and Staff Welfare, Mr. Adeleke Adeeso.
The injured enforcement officers include; Oyedokun Samson (driver), Iwatan Oluwa Seun, Riwatan Oluwatobi and Shipeolu Babatunde and are currently receiving treatment while one of them who was stabbed in the neck is still in critical condition.
Kazeem explained, “During the exercise, staff of the Federal High Court who were known to patronise the street traders obstructed the operatives while dislodging the street traders who had earlier been given several notices to vacate the location due to blockage of drainage channels.
“The team arrived at the scene of the incident at about 1:45 pm but were attacked by staff of the Federal High Court with the support of private security personnel, hurling stones, iron rods, broken bottles and cutlasses and leaving members of the enforcement team injured. ”
He maintained that the operation had nothing to do with the staff of the Court but it was discovered that the hawkers were paying rent to the private security of the Court thereby necessitating the intervention by court personnel.
The Deputy Corp Marshal confirmed that some of the suspects were arrested during the fracas, while the case was also immediately reported at the Ikoyi Police Station for further investigation.
He therefore, urged residents to comply with the laws on street trading as the government would no longer tolerate the slightest attack on any enforcement personnel.
The Corp Mashal of the Agency, Commissioner of Police, CP, Gbemisola Akinpelu (retd) reiterated the determination of the agency to ensure that all the citizens in the state abide by the stipulated environmental regulations of the state noting that nobody in the is above the law and warned people to desist from attacking enforcement officers out to carry their legal duties.