Lagos govt launches manhunt for suspected landlords of underbridge tenants

The discovered illegal apartments under Lagos bridge.

The Lagos State Government says it will arrest and prosecute the ring leaders who rented out illegal apartments to Dolphin Bridge, Ikoyi tenants.

This is according to the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, who disclosed this on Friday at the ongoing 2024 Ministerial Press briefing at Alausa Ikeja, to commemorate the first year administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Kadri Hamzat second term in office.

“In a renewed step to ensure the safety of lives of residents, the operatives of Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI/LAGESC, in line with the provisions of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Management law renewed the enforcement of the use of pedestrian bridges,” the commission said, adding that 1,032 persons were arrested for crossing the highway and failure to use pedestrian bridges.

“165 miscreants and squatters on the pedestrian bridges across the state were also dislodged and the bridges cleaned up. Just about 24 hours ago, the operatives carried out an operation that unearthed a major illegal housing settlement constructed under the Dolphin Bridge Ikoyi.

“An unbelievable 80 rooms partitioned 10×10 and 10×12 and a container used for different illegal activities was also discovered.

“All the structures have been dismantled and a total of 36 miscreants who lived under the bridge were arrested, while efforts are being intensified to arrest the ring leaders who rented out the illegal apartments which also add electricity supply.”

Styrofoam Ban

On the styrofoam ban, Wahab says, “Following my announcement of a ban of use, sale, and distribution of Styrofoam food containers on January 22, 2024, due to grave health concerns and the dangers to our ecosystem and drainage channels, the Ministry through the Sanitation Services Department facilitated meetings with stakeholders concerned and followed up the three weeks’ moratorium to mop-up Styrofoam products from distributors and Lagos markets.

“After the expiration, enforcement activities were commenced by a joint effort of Scientific Officers in the Ministry, Environmental Health Officers as well as KAI personnel in the state.

“A total of over 900 kg of Styrofoam food containers have so far been confiscated and deposited at the TLS Marini in Oshodi for destruction.

“More efforts are however being intensified on public awareness and sensitization of residents on the dangers inherent in the continued usage of the Styrofoam food containers. One of our agencies, LAWMA, during the period under review, identified 103 illegal blackspots across the metropolis and made efforts to ensure their dislodging just as a total number of 1,081 environmental offenders were arrested for various environmental offences with 1016 being prosecuted by the Mobile Magistrate’s court and sentenced to community service at various locations in the state, with an option of fine.

“Monitoring gangs were also deployed across 20 Local Governments to capture evidence of illegal dumping activities and possible prosecution.”

Also commenting on tenants under bridges, the Special Adviser on Environment and Water Resources, to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Kunle Rotimi-Akodu, further confirmed the eviction of illegal settlers from beneath the bridge towards Dolphin Estate in Ikoyi.

Rotimi-Akodu said in total, 23 individuals were arrested during the eviction. He said the exercise was part of an ongoing clampdown on illegal structures across the metropolis and aimed to rid Lagos of illegal structures.