By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Operatives of the Lagos State Taskforce have bust a syndicate of notorious gang that specialises in harrassing truck drivers along the highways, arresting 15 members of the gang.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspects were apprehended in a significant operation led by the chairman of the Agency along the Apapa/ Oshodi and Lagos/Badagry Expressway.
The Director, Press & Public Affairs of the Agency, Gbadeyan Abdulraheem in a statement yesterday, said that the suspects have been identified for their brazen tactics, coercing truck drivers to part with money under the pretext of working for the defunct Lagos State Parks and Garages Agency.
Accordingly to the release, Jejeloye stated that the gang, operating with impunity, has subjected many drivers to physical harm and acts of bestiality when they resist extortion attempts.
“We have been on the trail of this gang for a while after receiving several complaints from road users who ply this corridor. We even heard of Instances of drivers who refused to comply and later faced violent threats, including the removal of essential truck components such as batteries and mirrors right on the expressway”. Jejeloye stated.
The Chairman expressed disgust at the manner in which these set of miscreants wreak unnecessary havoc on the Highways in the name of Parks and Garages despite the official pronouncement on the ban on the activities of the Agency late last year.
“The guts to perform these acts are quite baffling. They threaten their victims at day time and night with no regard for existing law and order in the State. Unfortunately we have come to put an end to this jungle justice and they will no longer be allowed to operate anywhere in the State.”
One of the victims, Victor Aiyegbosi, a truck driver with one of the transport companies who was at their mercy recently described them as inhumane in their dealings.
He disclosed that they damage their trucks by ripping off cables and shattering the windows and mirrors just to have their way.
“The Taskforce assisting us here is the best thing that has happened to us this year so far” he stated.
Jejeloye revealed that the 51 apprehended suspects have been charged to court where eight out of them pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 7 months imprisonment with an option of 65,000 Naira fine.
The remaining 43 pleaded not guilty and their hearing adjourned till the 1st of March 2024.
CSP Jejeloye has therefore issued a stern warning to others engaged in acts of impersonation and extortion, urging them to desist forthwith or risk being prosecuted.
He said the Lagos State Government remains committed to ensuring the safety and efficiency of transportation networks within the State as enshrined in the THEMES PLUS agenda of the present administration.