The Lagos State Police Command on Tuesday began complete enforcement on the ban of commercial motorcycles otherwise known as okada in some parts of the state.
Chairman of the state Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, Mr. Bayo Suleiman, had said during the crushing of 3,000 motorcycles last week that the task force had not started enforcing the law fully.
It was however learnt that during a meeting with all Divisional Police Officers in the state on Monday, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, ordered that all stations should begin enforcing the new traffic law, especially the aspect on okada riders.
The state government had on August 2, 2012, signed into law, the restriction of okada on 475 roads, specifically, bridges, expressways and double-carriage roads.
PUNCH Metro learnt that hundreds of motorcycles were seized in Ogba, Agege, Ikeja, Ojokoro, Ajasa Command, Ojota, Oshodi among other areas. Some of the riders were also arrested.
A man who claimed to be an okada rider but declined to give his name sent a text message to PUNCH Metro that over 100 okadas were seized by policemen from Ojokoro Police Division.
A DPO, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the rise in crime made the police authorities to begin the clamp down on okada riders.
An okada rider, Johnson Alabi, accused the police of using violence to seize motorcycles, warning that someone could get killed in the process.
He said, “Around 12pm, I went to drop a passenger around Ijaiye when policemen accosted me. I immediately jumped off my bike and fled. However, some other riders were not as lucky as the policemen hit them with the butts of their guns before seizing their motorcycles.
“I was not riding on a restricted road but I don’t know why the policemen, attached to Ojokoro Division acted in that manner.”
Another rider, Babatunde Olajide, said the policemen manhandled some of the riders before seizing their bikes in Ojokoro area.