The Lagos States Government on Thursday arraigned 50 suspects before Chief Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi of Court 4, Ikeja Magisterial District over attack and vandalization of government equipment (caterpillar) around Idansan Village, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State.
The Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, disclosed that the 50 arraigned suspects, including four girls, attacked officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency while on official duties demolishing illegal shanties erected on acquired land and set fire on a caterpillar belonging to the government.
Egbeyemi disclosed further that LASBCA officials were attacked with stones, iron rods, broken bottles and burnt tyres before the arrival of the enforcement team of the Agency, which rescued them.
He confirmed that investigation revealed that owners/occupiers of these illegal shanties were served necessary notices and were given months to evacuate all their belongings from government approved land for “Dangote Refinery” around the area.
The Chairman stated that government equipment (caterpillar), worth millions of naira and used for clearing these illegal shanties, was completely set ablaze with petrol by the suspects.
Egbeyemi hinted these 50 arrested suspects were arraigned on the directive of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi.
The Commissioner of Police directed further that CSP Egbeyemi should arrest and prosecute any member of the public who vandalizes government properties across the State.
Imohimi however implored members of the public to always protect government properties within their area as anyone caught vandalizing public properties, including iron-mesh used for road demarcation along expressways, would be seriously dealt with in accordance with the law.
One of the arraigned suspects, Henry Agbor (45), who hails from Abia State, appealed to the government to temper justice with mercy as they were mobilised with different weapons by owners of these illegal shanties to carry out the barbaric acts.
Agbor promised: “I will never attack any official or destroy public property again in my life if pardoned by the government.”
Meanwhile, the arrested 50 suspects were arraigned on a four-count charged of Arson under section 341 (c), Conspiracy under section 411, Conduct likely to cause breach of peace under section 168 (1) (d) and Unlawful obstruction under section 117 (1) & (2) of the Lagos Law of Lagos State 2015.
Chief Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi however on application remanded 50 of them in prison and immediately referred the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice on the matter due to one of the charges arson, which carries a life imprisonment.