Officials of the Lagos State Task force on Environment and other Special Offence Unit have arrested 93 miscreants and Okada riders across the state.
Other arrested suspects were illegal occupants of abandoned buildings, hemp smokers, hoodlums suspected to have been terrorising some areas in the state. They were arrested in Oshodi, Agege, Ojuelegba, and Iju-Ishaga areas.
Among those arrested were three female teenagers and 90 male.
Task force Chairman, Akeem Adedeji, said the arrest followed the notice of increase in crime rate by the agency, saying that the agency would not fold its arms and allow criminals to over run Lagos.
According to him, those arrested would be screened while the under age would be referred to the juvenile homes for rehabilitation.
Adedeji stated that most of the young miscreants were between the ages of 12 and 15 and from broken homes.
“We won’t back down on the miscreants. This will serve as a clear warning to them that taskforce will not condone indiscipline and environmental nuisance. There is no hiding place for criminals in Lagos.
“We are also clamping down on the street traders on major highways who have become armed robbers. We are getting complaints from the residents and motorists. The Lagos State Government frowns at street trading, begging, touting and other criminal activities. We won’t stop arresting and prosecuting them until they are ready to obey the law of the state,” he said.
He added that “you can see many of the arrested suspects have tattoos on their body. Many are chain smokers. Some are robbers who terrorise Oshodi residents and pedestrians.”
Adedeji said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was committed to protection of lives and properties in order to attract more investors and make life easy for the residents.
The taskforce boss added that some of the arrested criminals would be screened before they were charged to court.
“it is better to allow criminals to go scort free than to punish the innocent. The state government took the giant step again, especially in Oshodi to sanitise the state.
“The measure became necessary following several complaints from citizens over the rising cases of robbery attacks in the Oshodi area, especially at night,” he said.
One of the arrested girls, Zainab Kamal, 19, said she was arrested in Oko Mola by the official of the task force, saying that she paid N50 with other Oshodi vagabonds numbering about 50 to sleep at a hide out in Oko Mola in Oshodi.
“Before I broke down, I was smoking at least four sticks of cigarette and other drugs. I smoked heavily before I developed tuberculosis. I smoke only cigarette with a what we called “Jedi,” she said.