The Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako has condemned the attack on officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) by Mobile Policemen (MOPOL) guiding a building construction site at Olumide Madariola Street, Sea Side Estate, Badore Ajah, Lagos.
Dr. Salako, reacting to a report by a team of LASBCA officials who were attacked and detained by the MOPOL while on official assignment in Ajah on Monday, said that this despicable act will not be tolerated and would not deter officials of the Ministry and its Agencies from carrying out their assignments.
While reiterating the State Government’s zero tolerance for illegal construction which had impacted negatively on planning, Salako maintained that the Ministry will continue to ensure full compliance with stipulated building guidelines and will not be discouraged by the antics of corrupt owners/developers.
On her part, the General Manager of LASBCA, Engr. Biola Kosegbe condemned the dastardly act on the team by policemen acting as security personnel on the construction site.
She wondered why Law Enforcement Officers, who are charged with protecting lives and property of the people, would resort to obstructing and harassing innocent State Officials who were fully kitted and drove a branded Official Vehicle to carry out their assignment.
Kosegbe went further to state that the Agency had lodged a complaint to the Police Authority on the incident and both the owners/developers and the Policemen who harassed and detained the team will be prosecuted for infringement on the rights of government officials.
Consequently, the General Manager warned erring owners/developers to stop harassing officers of the LASBCA who are only performing their lawful duties in making sure that all buildings are safe, secure and habitable for all residents in the State.
Earlier, the LASBCA team leader (name withheld for security reasons) stated that they were acting on the directive of the General Manager of the Agency, Engr. Biola Kosegbe, to visit the area after several reports of illegal and non-conforming construction within the axis.
He said trouble started when the officials noticed ongoing construction work at the site that had been previously sealed by the Agency on Olumide Madariola Street, after they had visited several other property in the area.
“They had approached the workmen on site and asked for necessary documents required by law for the ongoing construction, but rather than produce the documents, a couple of Mobile Policemen dressed in black MOPOL Tee Shirts pounced on them, forced them into the compound against their will and held them, hostage, for several hours”, Kosegbe said.
He, however, said that it took the intervention of a lawyer living in the vicinity to rescue them after their phones and other personal effects had been confiscated by the Policemen.