Legal Nigeria

Ambode goes tough on traffic robbers, street hawkers

•Police arrest 595, prosecute 400, get convictions for 300
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday presided over the state security council meeting with a resolve to stop the menace of robbery in traffic in the state’s trouble spots.
He promised to stop the activities of some persons posing as street hawkers to rob unsuspecting public.
Briefing reporters on the outcome of the meeting, Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni said the council looked at the security and crime situation in the past one month with a focus on the menace of street-trading, land-grabbers and other security issues.
“We looked at the areas, where we are winning and the areas, where we need to step up our activities. One of those areas we looked at critically was the issue of the guys that rob on the highway in the traffic.
“We have taken a decision to do all what we can do to stop all the activities. First, to decongest the gridlock, because if we do that once traffic moves, we are going to take the street traders and hawkers off the road,” Owoseni said.
He added: “Once we decongest, we would also reduce the incidence of people robbing motorists on the road and of course, the response time to distress call will be improved upon. Those are the things we looked at
“The meeting also took the decision that we continue our onslaught against criminals, especially the land-grabbers, to make sure that they are brought to justice once they are arrested; diligent investigation and prosecution will be carried out to show examples to others.”
The police chief said the council also deliberated on the menace of cultists and added that efforts had been made jointly by security agencies within the last one month, to clamp down on them.
“We want to sustain the rate that we are carrying out at the black spots. We want to make sure that the issue of gangsterism and cultism are completely wiped out in the state,” he said.
On the resurgence of motorcycle operators, popularly called okada riders, the police commissioner said security agencies within the past one month raided some identified black spots.
He said about 595 suspects were arrested during the raids, 400 prosecuted and 332 were convicted.
“We would not relent, we would continue on that onslaught to raid black spots to get rid of street-hawking and people who perpetrate crime in the state,” Owoseni said.