Lagos task force officials break motorcyclist’s leg …impound 134 motorcycles for traffic offences

Personnel of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Agency (task force) allegedly used a commercial bus to crush a motorcyclist, Segun Joseph, at the Bolade bus stop in the Oshodi area of the state.

The incident was said to have happened on Sunday while the officials attempted to apprehend Segun for riding his motorcycle on a restricted road.

After knocking down Segun, the officials impounded his motorcycle and abandoned the 38-year-old, who suffered a dislocated right ankle in the process.

PUNCH Metro gathered that good Samaritans, including policemen from the Akinpelu Police Division, rescued Segun and rushed him to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, for treatment.

Segun said he was on his way to pick a passenger when the task force personnel rammed him with the bus around 9pm.

He stated that despite sustaining an injury from the crash, the men ignored him and impounded his motorcycle and left him for dead.

The father of three said, “I was on my way to convey a soldier when the task force officials suddenly used a commercial bus to knock me down around the Bolade bus stop, Oshodi, and shattered my right ankle in the process. Immediately I was knocked down, the officials jumped out of the bus to seize my motorcycle. I tried to resist them, but they pushed me out of the way, saying all they needed was my motorcycle.

“I can no longer walk. Some good Samaritans, including policemen, who were on patrol, took me to the LASUTH.”

Segun’s wife, Bukola, said her husband had been transferred to a private hospital in Ogun State, adding that a lot of money had been expended on his medical bills.

The Chairman of the task force, Olayinka Egbeyemi, said the agency did not work on Sundays and advised Segun to present facts to back up his claims so that an investigation could commence into the incident.

Egbeyemi said, “We don’t work on Sundays; it was on Monday that we impounded motorcycles. If the victim knows the names or recognises the faces of the officials, he should come to me. I deal with facts; we don’t use commercial vehicles to operate, because we have our patrol vehicles and anybody on an illegal duty cannot bring an impounded motorcycle to our office, because I will ask him where he got it from.

“They won’t even bring such a motorcycle knowing that somebody was injured. Let us know their names instead of speculating that they are men of the task force. It is not only the task force that enforces the ban on motorcycle operations on certain routes in the state; it is the duty of the entire state police command.”

Meanwhile, Egbeyemi said during a parade on Tuesday, that 134 motorcycles were impounded from defiant motorcyclists, who plied restricted routes in the state.

He said an O’Ride power bike was also impounded, because the motorcyclist rode against the traffic.

The task force chairman said the motorcycles were seized at the CMS, Marina, Apongbon and Yaba area of the state, adding that the clampdown on errant motorcyclists would stretch to Victoria Island, Ajah and Lekki to put a check to their illegal operations.

Egbeyemi said, “The routes they are plying are restricted in accordance with the Lagos State Traffic Law, which states that every motorcycle operator must wear crash helmet, be above 18 years, avoid riding on kerbs/medians/road setbacks and restricted routes, avoid carrying more than one passengers/pregnant women/adults with babies/children below 12 years, avoid installing any musical gadgets, must wear an apron and should not operate beyond 10pm, operate with a rider’s permit and have the motorcycles registered with the government.

“The recklessness of the O’Ride motorcyclists is gradually becoming a problem on our roads, because they ride against the traffic and on flyovers, ignoring the casualties that may occur. They should adhere to the Lagos State traffic rules, if not the agency will be hard on them.

“We are ready to ensure that the Lagos traffic regulations are adhered to in all areas of the state and by all commercial motorcycle operators to ensure the safety of pedestrians.”

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