10th March, 2011
Police officers attached to the Lagos State Government Environment and Special Offences Task Force yesterday arrested at least 14 persons suspected to be court touts in the Ikeja High Court premises.
The 14 persons, four women and 12 men who are suspected to be among the syndicate of touts who issue fake court affidavits to unsuspecting members of the public, were picked up by the task force within court premises in an operation that lasted for over three hours.
A source close to the court told our reporter that men of the task force were invited by court authorities following complaints about the increasing nefarious activities of touts within the court premises.
When approached, the leader of the task force who refused to identify himself, referred our reporter to the high court chief registrar. He however confirmed that they were invited by the court authorities to arrest the touts.
Two of the arrested suspects claimed that they were staff of the Lagos State Judiciary and presented their identity cards which was turned down by men of the task force.
Others arrested claimed they were in the court premises for legal purpose and were not touts as alleged by men of the task force.
During the raid, some members of the task force harassed journalists who attempted to take pictures of the suspects who were arrested.
Our reporter who was at the scene of the raid was slapped by a policeman simply identified as Suru when he attempted to take pictures of those arrested.