Lagos Gov’t To Prosecute Okada Riders And Passengers In Banned Areas

Lagos Gov’t To Prosecute Okada Riders And Passengers In Banned Areas

By Doyin Ajayi | Sub-Editor on May 20, 2022
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Olakunle Oluomo, Musefiu Lamidi, Abdul Oladunjoye, Damilola Soneye
Stock photo of commercial motorcyclists.

Abiodun Alabi, the Lagos State commissioner of Police, on Thursday, May 19, 2022, said passengers and okada riders arrested following the ban on motorcycles will be tried and prosecuted in court.

On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, imposed a ban on motorcycles, popularly known as okadas, in six local government areas, citing security concerns.

Alabi, who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said the move is necessary to decongest cases associated with the arrest of riders and passengers flouting the government’s directives.

“There is a plan towards the establishment of mobile courts that will actually try them on time so that we don’t keep on congesting our cells with all these people who are flouting the laws,” he said.

“Whenever you are arrested, whether the passenger or the rider, they will be tried instantly without necessarily bringing them to any cell.”

The latest ban on okadas in the state comes after a sound engineer, David Imoh, was allegedly lynched to death by motorcycle riders in the Lekki area of the state over a fare dispute.

This is not the first time the activities of okada riders have been restricted in Lagos.

Police Commissioner Alabi however said enforcement of the ban this time will be more thorough.

He said most okada riders are criminals and must be taken off the road.

However, the police chief acknowledged that banning okadas may have its side effects.

“We know that banning the Okada riders can actually increase crime rate. And we are not unmindful of that and we are already putting in place a lot of strategies to contend with it,” he said.

“We know that it will send a lot of them to unemployment. We are aware of that and are preparing for it.”

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