Personnel of the Lagos Waste Management Authority, led by one Gbenga Oladokun, on Wednesday, allegedly mobilised hoodlums and men of the Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit to pull down a newspaper distribution centre on No. 370 Ikorodu Road, Maryland.
Two newspaper distributors, Arnold Igele and Tunde Ogunlaja, were reportedly arrested, as the structure was pulled down on the instructions of Oladokun.
The PUNCH gathered that Oladokun had stormed the distribution centre and accused the operators of dumping refuse at a location close to the centre.
Igele, however, denied the accusation and informed the official that street sweepers working in the area dumped the refuse from where agents conveyed same to a landfill.
The distributor said, “While still discussing with him, he started taking photographs of us and because I sensed that he might write a report contrary to what happened, I brought out my phone and took their photographs too so as to have evidence for my report as well.
“But he forced me to delete the pictures and said I was rude; he called the task force personnel and thugs, and arrested me and my colleague, Tunde Ogunlaja.
“While forcing us into their vehicle, they brought out knives and punctured the canopy we used as an office and broke the iron rods used in raising the structure. When we got to their Ogudu district office, Gbenga (Oladokun)told the policemen to take us to their station and left; but the policemen said we had done nothing wrong and we were released.”
The LAWMA spokesperson, Hakeem Akinyele, said the distributors had been warned on several occasions to stop dumping refuse at the location.
“When the distributors refused to desist from dumping their refuse there, LAWMA informed the task force and its personnel went there for enforcement,” he stated.