Fifty-one members of a notorious highway syndicate terrorizing truck drivers along the Apapa/ Oshodi and Lagos/Badagry Expressway, have been arrested.
Announcing the development in a statement on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on New Media, Jubril Gawat, detailed that the taskforce chairman, CSP Shola Jejeloye, led the operation.
The Lagos governor’s spokesperson disclosed that the suspects have been employing brazen tactics to coerce truck drivers to part with money under the pretext of working for the defunct Lagos State Parks and Garages Agency.
Gawat further detailed that the gang has subjected many drivers to physical harm and acts of bestiality when they resist extortion attempts.
The statement read, “The Lagos State Taskforce today in a significant operation led by the Chairman of the Agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye, successfully apprehended 51 notorious members of a highway gang known for harassing truck drivers along the Apapa/ Oshodi and Lagos/Badagry Expressway.
“This set of individuals have been identified for their brazen tactics, coercing truck drivers to part with money under the pretext of working for the defunct Lagos State Parks and Garages Agency.
“Operating with impunity, the gang has subjected many drivers to physical harm and acts of bestiality when they resist extortion attempts.
“The Chairman expressed disgust at the manner in which these set of miscreants wreak unnecessary havoc on the Highways in the name of Parks and Garages despite the official pronouncement on the ban on the activities of the Agency late last year.
“One of the victims, Victor Aiyegbosi, a truck driver with one of the transport companies who was at their mercy recently described them as inhumane in their dealings. He disclosed that they damage their trucks by ripping off cables and shattering the windows and mirrors just to have their way. The Taskforce assisting us here is the best thing that has happened to us this year so far.
“Jejeloye revealed that the 51 apprehended suspects have been charged to court where 8 out of them pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 7 months imprisonment with an option of 65,000 Naira fine. The remaining 43 pleaded not guilty and their hearing adjourned till the 1st of March 2024.
“CSP Jejeloye issues a stern warning to others engaged in acts of impersonation and extortion, urging them to desist forthwith or risk being prosecuted. The Lagos State Government remains committed to ensuring the safety and efficiency of transportation networks within the State as enshrined in the THEMES PLUS agenda of the present administration.”