The Chairman of the Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area, Kunle Olowoopejo, has remained silent on the alleged extortion and brutality being perpetrated by suspected officials of the council.
Calls and repeated text messages to the chairman on Sunday and Monday seeking his reaction to the matter were not replied to.
PUNCH Metro had reported that some men who claimed to be working for the council mounted a roadblock at the Isheri Roundabout in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Our correspondent, who was an eyewitness, noted that some truck drivers were assaulted by the officials for not paying a certain levy without any form of receipt.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, had distanced the state from the action of the men.
The police spokesperson, Benjamin Hundeyin, had denied knowledge of the incident and urged those assaulted to report to the police for necessary action.
Residents, who read the report on PUNCH’s website and other social media platforms, claimed to have witnessed similar attacks on drivers in other parts of the state.
A reader, Musa Yusuf, said,“This is very true. I reside in that neighbourhood. How can the police claim that they are not aware when the spot is very close to the Idimu Police station/area ‘M’ Police command?”
On Facebook, one Paul Solomon said, “Those guys are everywhere in Lagos and something has to be done about them. I encountered two different sets yesterday along Lasu-Isheri Expressway. What is the business of the local government with the motorways when we have LASTMA, police traffic department and FRSC?”
Another Facebook user, Moses Akawe, who highlighted other areas where the activities were ongoing, said the officials usually took over the road from 10pm.
“Government officials should stop pretending that they don’t know when they empowered this set of people,” he added.
“It is very bad at Ikotun Roundabout. The council boys numbering up to 30 men scattered all around the roundabout wielding sticks and baton dangerously to attack any vehicle carrying load on the road, and demanding money on behalf of the Ikotun LCDA every day. They also obstruct the free flow of the traffic. The local government and the Lagos State Government can never deny knowledge of these boys mounting check points. It’s awoof money for them,” another user, Michael Dayo, said.
One Akeem Olayiwola, who reacted via the same platform, said, “All the council chairmen & obas, chiefs know about these menace because they remit to them all.”
On Twitter, a reader, Olalekan Odewale, said council chairmen used louts to take levies.
“This is a common sight in Lagos. Local governments hand levy collection authority to touts who have no decorum in discharging their illegal duties. Once you are carrying any form of load, you must buy tickets or they damage your vehicle,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, the state information commissioner, Omotosho, insisted that the state government was not aware of such roadblocks in the state.
He said, “The Lagos State Government is too sophisticated to go and tell people to start mounting roadblocks.”