By Idowu Abdullahi,
Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command, on Monday, allegedly harassed and detained officials of the state’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA) officials who were said to be on state assignment for requesting construction approval documents from workmen at a site in Ajah area of the state.
The Guild gathered that the Mobile policemen, better known as MOPOL, attached as security operatives at the ongoing building construction site at Olumide Madariola street, Sea Side Estate, Badore Ajah, also seized personal effects belonging to the officials who were acting n the directive of the General Manager of the Agency after several reports of illegal and non-conforming construction were reported in the axis.
One of the policemen referred to as Joseph reportedly shot sporadically into the air, scaring passerby and residents in the area who later scamper for safety while holding the officials and later started shooting into the ground around the officers who were reportedly made to sit on the floor.
Narrating the ordeal, the leader of the team, who does not want his name on print, said when they were on patrol in the area and noticed workers working on the site which had been previously sealed by the Agency and approached them for necessary documents required by law for construction in the state.
According to the team leader, a couple of mobile policemen dressed in black MOPOL tee shirts pounced on them, forced them into the compound against their will, and held them, hostage, for several hours on for daring to ask for documents granting them construction right, adding that it took the intervention of a lawyer living in the vicinity to rescue the officials whose phones had also been confiscated.
Reacting to the incident, the state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, who decried the overzealousness of the policemen noted that the incident will be investigated, adding that the state will continue to enforce compliance against illegal construction which had impacted negatively on planning in the state.
On his part, LASBCA General Manager, Engr. Biola Kosegbe, wondered why Law Enforcement Officers who are charged with protecting lives and properties of the people would resort to obstructing and harassing innocent state officials who were fully kited and drove a branded Official vehicle to carry out their assignment.
Kosegbe, through a statement by LASBCA Assistant Director, Public Affairs Unit, Gbadeyanka Bello, revealed that the agency had reported the incident to the police authority, adding that the owner, developer alongside the police officials involved will be prosecuted for infringing on the officials right.