LAGOS States Task Force on Wednesday arraigned a total of 50 suspects before an Ikeja magistrate court over an attack on officials of the State’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and vandalization of a caterpillar belonging to the state government, which the culprits were said to have set on fire.
They were arraigned on a 4-count charge 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, with arson, said to carry life Imprisonment.
The incident occurred around Idansan Village, Ibeju, Lekki area of the state, while officials of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) were on official duties, demolishing illegal shanties erected on acquired land and set fire.
Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi disclosed this in a statement made available by the spokesperson of the agency, Mr Adebayo Taofiq, saying the suspects, including four girls, were arraigned on the directive of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police CP Edgal Imohimi before the court presided over by Chief Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi of Court 4, Ikeja Magisterial District.
According to Egbeyemi, the 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, adding that the multi-million caterpillar was completely set ablaze with petrol by the suspects.
He said an investigation revealed that owners/occupiers of these illegal shanties were served necessary notices and given months to evacuate all their belongings from government approved land for Dangote Refinery located in the vicinity.
One of the arraigned suspects, Henry Agbor (45yrs), who hailed from Abia State appealed to the government to temper justice with mercy a, saying they were mobilised with different weapons by owners of the illegal shanties to carry out the barbaric acts.
He, however, promised not to be involved in such an act anymore, adding: “I will never attack any officials nor destroy public property again in my life if pardoned by the government.”
Chief Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi, however, on the application, remanded all the 50 suspects in prison 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 carries a ‘life Imprisonment’