2nd December, 2011
Officials of the Lagos State Task Force on the Environment (Enforcement) Unit and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, yesterday arrested 40 traders and impounded nine trucks at Iddo, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria.
The impounded trucks were found blocking the BRT lane.
Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello had last week hinted of governmentâ€™s plan to launch a fresh onslaught against illegal street traders and enforce the restriction order on the illegal use of BRT lanes by motorists.
Fully armed task force officials and LASTMA officials stormed the area with a Black Maria to dislodge the traders and arrest motorists using the BRT lane.
Sighting the officials, there was pandemonium as traders packed their wares to escape being arrested. Fourty of them were arrested and hauled into the Black Maria. They were taken to the task force office at Alausa, Ikeja for prosecution at the special court.
P.M.NEWS gathered that in the last two weeks, the recalcitrant traders had returned to the area on more than two occasions to continue trading after task force officials had dislodged them.
When P.M.NEWS contacted the chairman of the taskforce, Superintendent Bayo Sulaiman on the raid, he confirmed that 40 traders were arrested and nine trucks impounded in the area, adding that the taskforce would continue to monitor the area to ensure that illegal traders did not return.
According to him, the order to clear Iddo of street trading was from Governor Babatunde Fashola who was not happy with the filthy environment when he passed through the area.
Sulaiman said yesterdayâ€™s raid was the third time taskforce officials would be raiding the area. â€œThe traders are fond of returning after the officials had gone. From now, we will continue to monitor the area to ensure that they do not come back again,â€ he assured.
Sulaiman said the 40 traders would be charged to court for degrading the environment. He added that the nine trucks impounded had been handed over to LASTMA officials while their owners would have to pay the necessary fines before the trucks would be released to them.
â€” Kazeem Ugbodaga