No fewer than 50 suspects nabbed over alleged attack and vandalization of government equipment have been arraigned before Chief Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi of Court 4, in Ikeja Magisterial District.
The suspects, arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Taskforce were alleged attacked some government officials and vandalised their caterpillar during a demolition exercise of shanties around Ilansan Village, in Ibeju Lekki area of the state.
Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, who made the disclosure said the suspects which include four girls, attacked officials of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) while on official duties of demolition of illegal shanties errected on acquired land and set fire on a caterpillar belonging to the government.
In a release by Adebayo Taofiq, head Public Affairs Unit, 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 who rescued them.
He stated that investigation revealed that owners/occupiers of the 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 used during the clearance exercise was completely set ablaze with petrol by the suspects.
Egbeyemi hinted that suspects were arraigned on the directive of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police CP Edgal Imohimi.
According to the release, the Commissioner of Police directed further that CSP Egbeyemi should arrest and prosecute any members of the public who vandalizes government properties across the State.
The police boss 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 express ways would be seriously dealt with in accordancewith the law.
One of the arraigned suspect, Henry Agbor (45yrs), who hailed from Abia State appealed to the government to tamper justice with mercy, disclosing that they were mobilised with different weapons by owners of the illegal shanties to carry out the barbaric acts.
He promised “I will never attack any officials nor destroy public property again in my life if pardoned by the government”
Meanwhile, all the suspects were arraigned on a 4-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 them in prison custody and immediately referred the case file to the Director, Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice on the matter due to one of the charges ‘Arson’ which carrys a ‘Life Imprisonment’