Unauthorized Raids: Lagos State Government Warns Police Officers Against High-Handedness

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has sent a formal request to the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, asking for the redeployment of some police officers attached to the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Unit. The request came in the wake of last Friday’s raids in different parts of Lagos by officers of the taskforce, leading to a rough treatment and arrests of innocent citizens.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the Governor has sought an immediate redeployment of several of the taskforce officers from the unit and possibly from the state over what the Governor called “unacceptable conduct.”

The release stated that the request became necessary in order to checkmate the reoccurrence of last weekend’s unauthorized raid and indiscriminate arrest of citizens who were out to have fun on Friday night.

According to Ayorinde, preliminary investigation showed that the unauthorized raid was carried out with the knowledge of the second in command to the Chairman of the Taskforce, SP Taiwo Adeoluwa without the approval of the Chairman, SP. Saheed Olayinka Egbeyemi.

“The conduct of the affected officers is not in tandem with the vision of Lagos State Government and is therefore condemnable. Their conduct is also unbecoming of officers who are expected to protect the citizenry and ensure that citizens and visitors find every part of the State safe and conducive enough not only on Friday nights but every day.”

The commissioner added that Governor Ambode’s massive investments in security and Light Up Lagos Project was meant to create a 24-7 economy that encourages businesses to thrive. He said the government would not fold its arms and watch any overzealous officer derail the vision that has earned the government applause.

While expressing the State Government’s heartfelt apology to the affected person, Ayorinde stated that government would not condone any act(s) of high-handedness, extortion and disregard for human rights on the side of any of its law enforcement agencies and any public official as the State has sworn to protect and guarantee the rights of its citizens.

He therefore reiterated the State Government’s commitment towards providing a safe, secure and friendly environment where every law-abiding citizen can go about his or her businesses and activities without fear of being molested, harassed or intimidated by anyone.