Not less than 200 officials of the Sure-P Federal Taskforce have been arrested by the Lagos State Task on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences from their training ground at the old Lagos toll gate moved them to the headquarters of the Lagos State Police command in Lagos.
We gathered that officials of the Lagos Task force had arrested a Sienna Space Bus plying the BRT lane at Ketu area but the driver diverted the vehicle into the premise of Federal Taskforce on the way to Alausa. In the process of trying to get the vehicle back, officials of the federal taskforce allegedly mobilised and attacked the policemen with planks, bottles and beat up the few officers, inflicting injuries on them.
The Lagos State Task Force went for reinforcement and stormed the area with armed policemen , led by Bayo Sulaiman, Chief Superintendent of Police leading to mayhem of the highest order. The policemen used teargas to disperse and overwhelmed men of the federal task force, leading to arrest of over 200 men.
Speaking to reporters in Lagos, Sulaiman said the federal taskforce attacked his men with dangerous weapons, stressing that there was no way a taskforce could take over the function of the police.
“They beat up our men and held our men hostage. We will not allow them to take over our function and we arrested close to 100 of them. If we allow this to go unchecked, it will be worse next time,” he said.
He said his men were attacked with bottles as one of them was beaten with plank, with serious injuries inflicted on his body while other officers were also wounded.
One of the injured police officers said he fell down as they started beaten him and showed our reporter the injury he sustained.
When interrogated, driver of the Sienna Space bus, Timothy Uko said he did not know any member of the federal taskforce but that he decided to park close to their office and beg the policemen who arrested him in order not to create traffic snarl.
Uko was seriously beaten up by the police for allegedly fuelling the crisis by veering into the premises of the federal taskforce. At the taskforce office, the arrested federal taskforce officials after their data were collected were loaded in Black Maria trucks and conveyed to the Lagos State Police Command for further interrogation.
One of them, who was on queue collapsed and was at the point of unconsciousness when he was rushed to the hospital by the taskforce officials.
Most of the federal taskforce officials who spoke with our reporter said they were wrongly arrested, saying that they were not among their colleagues who attacked policemen. One of the leaders of the federal taskforce, Aminu Kazeem said he was inside the premises when the policemen stormed the area and arrested him and his colleagues, but could not tell if some of his men attacked policemen a he was not outside where the clash occurred.
Engr. Adeyemi Adeshina, who claimed to be the Deputy Director in the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, and working at the taskforce yard said he was inside when the police came and arrested him.