Operatives of the Lagos State Task Force have impounded 130 commercial motorcycles for operating illegally on restricted routes at Iyana-Ipaja, Abule-Egba, Fagba, and Ogba areas of Lagos.
The new Chairman of the agency, Jejeloye Shola, who led the enforcement team, disclosed that the operations were carried out on Monday after several warnings to motorcycle riders to desist from plying restricted routes, particularly highways and bridges across the state.
He explained that a series of complaints received from residents on illegal and criminal activities perpetrated by some motorcycle operators necessitated the operations.
“While some of them harass innocent members of the public at various bus-stops, others engage in all sorts of criminal acts by dispossessing their passengers of valuables such as phones, pieces of jewellery, and bags.
“Also, motorists held in traffic both morning and night around these areas were not spared,” Shola, a Superintendent of Police was quoted as saying in a statement by Adebayo Taofiq, the spokesman for the task force.
He stated that total clampdown on illegal activities of motorcycle operators on restricted routes would be vigorously sustained on daily basis throughout the festive season to checkmate the activities of criminally minded motorcyclists.
The task force chairman also warned dispatched riders using power bikes (200cc above) to desist from engaging in illegal commercial activities, saying anyone caught violating the Lagos State Traffic Laws would be prosecuted.
He urged various associations of motorcycle riders across the state to always educate their members on all 475 restricted routes and the life-threatening dangers of plying highways and bridges.
Shola confirmed that the raid on the illegal commercial motorcycle operators was directed by the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Hakeem Odumosu.
Violence erupted at the Agodi Gate area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Tuesday when prison officials allegedly shot a motorcyclist.
According to eyewitness reports, the okada rider had an argument with prison officials who wanted the access route to the prison cleared but the situation degenerated into violence leading to a crisis in the area.
Thereafter, the police station at Gate was burnt allegedly by some angry motorcyclists.
The okada rider who sustained a gunshot wound is, however, alive and receiving treatment, while security operatives led by the Joint security task force Operation Burst have taken over to restore normalcy in the area.
Meanwhile, contrary to some reports that the face-off was between the police and motorcycle riders, the police spokesman Gbenga Fadeyi said no policeman fired any shot at the scene.
She also directed that with immediate effect, all commercial buses operating in the state will not carry more than two passengers in a row.
While the state did not specify how long the ban will last, there have been mixed reactions from commercial tricycle operators.
Some have commended the action, noting that it is for the safety and good of every citizen of the state, but have also lamented that the ban will affect their means of livelihood and by extension bring untold hardship upon their families.
The Army spokesman warned that “anyone caught using motorcycles within the named areas will be taken for an armed bandit, criminal and kidnapper with dire consequences.”
While appealing for the cooperation of the general public, Musa said the directive will stop the dastardly activities of these bandits from operating across the affected region.
He also reiterated the military’s commitment in securing lives and properties of the citizenry, calling on the “respective State Governments are enjoined to please disseminate the ban on the use of motorcycles in the named areas and enforce the ban in conjunction with the security agencies.”
The development follows ongoing military operations in the affected states codenamed Exercise Harbin Kunama aimed at combating security challenges in the area.
Saudi Arabian women will be able to drive trucks and motorcycles, officials have said three months after the kingdom announced a historic decision to end a ban on women driving.
In September, King Salman issued a decree saying women will be able to drive from next June as part of an ambitious reform push in the conservative kingdom.
The Saudi General Directorate of Traffic gave details of the new regulations that will follow the lifting of the ban on the official Saudi Press Agency late on Friday.
“Yes, we will authorise women to drive motorcycles” as well as trucks, it said, adding that the royal decree stipulates that the law on driving will be “equal” for both men and women.
There will be no special licence plate numbers for female-driven cars, it said.
But women involved in road accidents or who commit traffic violations will be dealt with at special centres that will be established and run by women.
Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to impose a ban on women driving and its maintenance was seen around the world as a symbol of repression in the Gulf kingdom.
Its historic decision to allow women to drive from next June has been cheered inside the kingdom and abroad — and comes after decades of resistance from female activists, many of whom were jailed for flouting the ban.
Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women.
Under the country’s guardianship system, a male family member — normally the father, husband or brother — must grant permission for a woman’s study, travel and other activities.
The Federal House of Representatives member representing Kontagora, Mariga, Mashegu and Wushishsi federal constituency of Niger State, Abdullahi Garba, has debunked the allegation that the sum of 100 million Naira was given to House members as constituency fund.
He explained that no House member was given the said 100 million Naira in cash at once but what was being given to them was an intervention fund ranging from 40 million to 100 million Naira paid in installments after they had submitted works to be carried out in their constituencies.
He made the declaration at Kontagora during the handing over of brand new buses, tricycles, motorcycles, pumping machines, grinding machines worth 450 million Naira as his means of empowerment to his people.
He pointed out that the empowerment was his way of giving back to the people who elected him, for them to feel the dividends of democracy and have a sense of belonging.
While promising to do more in the coming years, he called on the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items by also employing and empowering other people so that poverty can be eradicated in the constituency.
In view of this, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State has applauded its elected officers in the state for giving people oriented dividends of democracy in the last one year.
The State Chairman of APC, Mamud Imam, applauded the House of Reps member for the kind gesture to his people.
The party chairman asserted that as promised during the campaigns, all elected officers from state to federal level remained on course and have continued to remain resolute in fulfilling the pledges to the people and have continued to be committed to the manifesto of the party.
The Oyo State Police Command has given scholarship to 12 pupils drawn from both primary and secondary schools of Police Children in Ibadan.
The new scholarship scheme was introduced by the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, for exceptional Police children and those who lost their parents on duty, as part of measures aimed at improving the welfare of Police officers in the state.
The scheme was in fulfilment of the promise made by the IGP during his visit to the state that brilliant children of Police officers and those who lost their parents in active duty would be assisted by the force through scholarships to actualise their dreams.
The Command also paraded 17 suspected criminals whose offenses range from illegal arms manufacturing, fraud to armed robbery.
Items recovered include various locally made pistols at different stages of fabrication, assorted guns, charms, vehicles, motorcycles, handsets among other exhibits.
Addressing journalists at the command headquarters in Eleyele Ibadan, the state Police Commissioner, Adeleye Oyebade, said the command has taken measures to discourage bank robbery and other forms of organised criminal activities in the state.
The Oyo State Police Command says it remains committed to a crime free and functional society where mutual respect between communities and law enforcement agents become the norm.
The Commissioner of Police, Adeleye Oyebade, made the statement while expressing the determination at the Eleyele Headquarters of the command.
He told reporters that the latest feat achieved by the command was possible because residents in the state were more responsive to the Police by providing valuable intelligence on strange activities.
The Police Commissioner disclosed that a total of 15 arrests were made with an overwhelming exhibits which included eight unregistered assorted cars and seven registered vehicles snatched at gun point.
He added that assorted arms and ammunition, motorcycles, phones and electronic gadgets were among items recovered from the suspects.
Mr Oyebade expressed appreciation to the public for providing information and sued for greater collaboration, assuring them of protection of their identities.
Interactions between journalists and the suspects revealed that some of them were second time offenders re-arrested by the Oyo State Police Command while some have been at it for long before the longer arms of the law caught up on them.
Gunmen on Wednesday morning attacked the Police station at Bangi town in Bangi local government area of Niger state, releasing 10 armed robbery suspects in the process.
The gunmen stormed the Police station in motorcycles and then engaged the Police in a gun battle.In the process they released all the inmates of the prison and drove away with 10 armed robbery suspects who had been arrested on Tuesday.
Confirming the incident to Channels Television in Minna, the Niger Police Public Relations Officer, Richard Ogunche said that the yet to be identified gunmen overpowered the few officials at the Police station.
He explained the suspects released by the gunmen were members of notorious gang that attacked traders at the weekly Bangi market.
Mr Ogunche, however said the command has begun a ‘serious manhunt’ for the gunmen who are suspected to still be in the town.
Two separate bomb attacks targeted at the Joint Task Force checkpoint at Maiduguri road and police check point at eastern bypass, both in Kano metropolis have claimed the lives of two of the suspected bombers.
According to the State police commissioner, Musa Daura, the explosive which targeted the JTF checkpoint was remote controlled and buried in the ground very close to the checkpoint.
Mr Daura added that the person that targeted the police checkpoint disguised as a water truck seller pushing a truck towards the checkpoint with one other person giving him cover on a motorcycle. However, on throwing the explosive, it hit the motorcycle rider and killed both of them on the spot.
The commissioner further disclosed that no police officer was killed or injured from the attacks, adding that four other people were arrested while attempting to attack the police after the explosion.
Meanwhile, three police officers and one local security officer attached to a local government secretariat were killed during an attack at Ganye local government area of Adamawa state.
Residents told Channels Television that gun men on a motorcycle numbering about ten staged a prison break, and set ablaze the local government police divisional headquarters and the local government secretariat, killing the four people in the two separate locations.
The Lagos state government on Monday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that it has not imposed a ban on the operations of commercial motor cyclists, otherwise known as Okada, on Lagos roads.
The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye said this while making submissions in a suit filed against the government by four different Okada riders associations.
The motorcycle operators had filed the suit alleging plans to ban their operations by the state government.
Those who filed the suit are the Trustees of National Commercial Motorcycle and Tricycle Owners and Riders Association; Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria; Trustees of All Nigerians Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association; and Okada Welfare Association.
They listed the state government and the state Attorney general as respondents to the suit.
The Attorney General however told the court presided over by Justice Steven Adah that what the Okada riders were reacting to mere newspaper reports.
On the issue of a ban being a breach of fundamental rights of the applicant, Mr Ipaye said that “it has not been alleged anywhere that commercial motor cycles would no longer operate on the roads.”
“What are imminent are regulations which are facts of life in any business. It would therefore not be appropriate in any civilised society for there not to be regulations,” he said.
On the operations of the applicants for commercial purposes, the Attorney General said that since they carry people in return for payment of services rendered, “and if government is to be alive to its responsibilities, it is a business which must be regulated”.
Mr Ipaye also said that the constitution vested the executive with powers and the courts can not intervene in the exercise of such powers.
He therefore urged the court to dismiss the application of the Okada riders stressing that “any one complaining of the action or inaction of an administrative body must show clearly that that administrative body has exceeded the power conferred on it by the constitution”.
Counsel to the applicants, Bamidele Aturu had earlier told the court that there is no law in Lagos State which empowered the executive to ban the operations of commercial motor cyclists on Lagos roads.
According to him, the state house of assembly has not, as at date, put in place any law to back the action of the government to ban, seize commercial motor cycles or arrest the operators adding that the state government also do not have any authority to ban Okada from federal roads.
Mr Aturu also told the trial court that the respondents raised certain fundamental issues in their written address before the court which he said are not justifiable under the provisions of Chapter 2 of the constitution and certain provisions of the African Charter on Human and People’s Right.
He accused the respondents of embarking on a selective reduction of the applicants’ claim to just the provisions of Chapter 2 of the constitution.
Citing relevant decided cases on whether provisions of chapter 2 of the constitution are enforceable, he said that section 13 of that chapter gave all organs of government and any person exercising legislative power to implement chapter 2 of the constitution.
“When two sections of the constitution are in conflict, the latter section prevails”, he said.
The presiding judge adjourned the matter to the 4 May for ruling.
The applicants are seeking among other declarations that the proposed ban and restriction of their operations will constitute a violation of their constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of movement.
The Okada riders are demanding that the court gives an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Lagos state government from hindering their operation or arresting their members for using commercial motorcycles or in any other ways preventing the members from gainful employment through the use and or operation of their motorcycles.
They also sought an order directing the respondents to release all the motorcycles that had so far been seized.