Okada Ban: “Police Are Exploiting Us” – Lagos Residents Lament
Some Lagos residents have alleged exploitation by some policemen who pretend to be riders of commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada, which have been banned in some parts of the state.
The residents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday, said that the alleged perpetrators were usually in Okada uniform and deliberately drove their victims to a task force against Okada riding.
According to the residents, the ‘Okada riders’ carry their passengers to a waiting task force for arrest.
They alleged that after the arrest, the task force, made up of policemen, would allow the ‘Okada riders’ to drive off but threaten the passengers with prosecution.
They said that the task force would take the passengers to their station and make them to pay as much as N50,000 for bail.
The residents listed some of the areas where policemen allegedly perpetrate the act to include Oshodi, Iyana-Ipaja, Sango, Ikotun, Ketu and Mile 12.
A resident, who claimed to have fallen victim, Mr Akinyemi Oni, alleged that it was a planned exploitation.
He said that both the ‘Okada riders’ and the task force were working together.
Mr Linus Chukwuka, who also claimed to have fallen victim, said that the alleged perpetrators were taking advantage of Okada ban in some parts of Lagos to extort the residents.
Chukwuka called on the state government to repair bad roads and speed up ongoing road constructions causing traffic jam.
“Some of the victims of this exploitation were forced to use bikes to meet up with appointments, as using vehicles will waste their time in traffic,” he said.
NAN reports that Lagos State Government banned commercial motorcycle operation in 10 local government areas and five local council development areas.
The ban took effect from June 1, 2022, as part of measures to secure lives and property.
The affected council areas include Ikeja, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, Surulere and Apapa.
The others include Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Shomolu, Mushin, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had warned that, if arrested, both the Okada riders and their passengers would be liable to three years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of N50,000 each.
He added that the Okada would be confiscated.
“We will crush that bike and the public will see the crushing process. This is in line with the provisions of Section 46, Sub-Section 1, 2 and 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Contacted, the spokesman for the police command in Lagos State, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, described the alleged victims as law breakers who should be arrested.
Hundeyin said that the law banning commercial motorcycle operation in the affected areas had not been repealed.
He listed the alleged victims’ offences as riding on Okada in prohibited areas and offering bribe to public officers.
He also said that bribe collection by a public officer remained an offence.
“The ‘victims’ should report the conduct of the officers, with their names, to their divisional police officers or the police public relations officer,” he added.
Source:- Daily Post
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