Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, yesterday disclosed that 50 suspects had been arraigned over attack and vandalism of government equipment (caterpillar) around Idansan village, Ibeju, Lekki area.
They were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi of Court 4, Ikeja Magisterial District, over the offence, which Egbeyemi said was punishable under the law.
The suspects, including four girls, allegedly attacked officials of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) while on official duty demolishing illegal shanties erected on acquired land and set fire on a caterpillar belonging to government.
It was learnt that LASBCA officials were attacked with stones, iron rods, broken bottles and burnt tyres before the arrival of the enforcement team of the agency.
The task force chairman 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.
Egbeyemi added that government equipment (caterpillar) worth millions used for clearing these illegal shanties was set ablaze with petrol.
He disclosed that the state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, had given a directive that the agency should arrest and prosecute anyone who vandalised government property.
One of the suspects, Henry Agbor (45), who hailed from Abia State, appealed to government to tamper justice with mercy as they were mobilised with different weapons by owners of the illegal shanties to carry out the attack.
He said: “I will never attack any official nor destroy public property again in my life if pardoned by the government.”
Meanwhile, the 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 Sections 117 (1) & (2) of the Lagos Law of Lagos State 2015’.
Osunsanmi, however, remanded them in prison and immediately referred the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice on the matter due to one of the charges ‘arson’ which carries a ‘life imprisonment’.
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