Governor Ambode seeks police redeployment over raids

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

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 State’s 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 unlawful arrests and infringement on rights of innocent citizens.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, who confirmed the development, said the Governor had 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.”

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

According to Ayorinde, preliminary investigation showed that the unauthorised 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 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,” he stressed.

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 would encourage businesses to thrive.

He said the government would not fold its arms and watch any overzealous officer derail the vision that had earned the government applause.

Heartfelt Apology

While expressing the State Government’s heartfelt apology to the affected persons, Ayorinde affirmed that government would not condone any act 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 had 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 could go about his or her businesses and activities without fear of being molested, harassed or intimidated by anyone.