The operators of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce), in an inspection exercise during the night over the weekend, removed illegal structures made up of shacks, mechanical workshops, kiosks with containers and garages commercial buses at Government Public Schools on Mile 2 and Badagry Expressway.
The Agency President, Olayinka Egbeyemi, Chief Superintendent of Police, who led the enforcement team, disclosed that, prior to the removal exercise, the owners and occupants received a 7-day ‘Removal Notice’ to vacate the entire area and surroundings, schools within the stipulated time.
Egbeyemi also said that the removal exercise was the result of numerous complaints and petitions from residents, particularly from the administration of the Public Schools, the Imoye Secondary School and the Junior High School Amuwo Odofin, that criminal elements turned the area into hiding places / points for carrying out their illegal and harmful activities making the environment unpleasant to live or learn.
According to him, “the structures were identified to house criminal elements that steal their valuables from the public and also serve as an outlet for the sale of illegal heavy drugs such as Tramadol, Codeine, Skunk, Weed, including mixed drinks for criminals”.
“Lagos is Nigeria’s most populous state, as well as its economic heartbeat. As such, zero tolerance for all forms of crime and criminality by the current government would be maintained, ”added Egbeyemi.
He reaffirmed that the owners / occupants of illegal commercial structures, such as mechanics, food / fruit suppliers and others, have turned the whole area into an eye sore, since everywhere, including around public schools, they are usually full of waste, used tires / metals and abandoned vehicles / trucks, among others.
The President said that the Agency took action after the removal notice expired, in order to ensure immediate cleanliness of the environment, as well as to suppress the activities of criminally minded people who have become a source of disruption to the law abiding residents.
Egbeyemi therefore implored all owners / occupants of illegal structures and shacks around public schools across the state to remove them immediately before the exercise reached its various areas, as anyone caught would be seriously treated according to the law.
He, however, confirmed that the Agency started the exercise of verifying the affected persons’ claim, but with legal documentation for the payment of the monetary compensation approved by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.