Operatives of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce), in an over-night enforcement exercise, has removed some illegal structures comprising of shanties, mechanic workshops, containarised kiosks and commercial bus garages around Government Public Schools at Mile 2, Badagry Expressway, Lagos.
Chairman of the Agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, who led the enforcement team disclosed that before the removal exercise owners and occupants of these illegal structures, containarised kiosks and bus garage were served a 7-day ‘Removal Notice’ to vacate the entire area as well as the vicinity of the schools within the stipulated period.
CSP Egbeyemi stated further that the removal exercise was sequel to numerous complaints and petitions by residents, particularly management of the Public Schools (Imoye High School and Amuwo Odofin Junior Secondary School) that criminal elements have turned the area into hideouts/spots for carrying out their nefarious activities thereby making the environment unpleasant for living or learning.
According to him “these removed illegal structures/shanties were identified for harbouring criminal elements who rob unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables and also serve as an outlet for the sales of illegal hard drugs like Tramadol, Codeine, Skunk, Weed including mixed liquor to miscreants”.
“Lagos is the most populous state in Nigeria as well as its economic heartbeat. As such, the zero tolerance for all forms of crimes and criminality by the present administration would be sustained” Egbeyemi added.
He restated that owners/occupiers of these illegal business structures like mechanics, food/fruits vendors, and others have turned the entire area into an eye-sore as everywhere including the surroundings of public schools, are usually littered with refuse, used tires/metals and abandoned vehicles/trucks amongst others.
The Chairman said the Agency swung into action upon the expiration of the removal notice in order to ensure the prompt clean-up of the environment as well as a clampdown on the activities of criminally minded persons that have become a source of disturbance to law-abiding Lagosians, especially residents of the area.
CSP Egbeyemi, therefore, implored all owners/occupants of illegal structures and shanties around public schools across the State to immediately remove them before the exercise reach their various areas as anyone caught would be seriously dealt with in accordance with the law.
He, however, confirmed that the Agency has commenced verification exercise of the claim of those affected but with legal documentation for the payment of monetary compensation as approved by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.