The Special Offences Court sitting in Alausa has jailed 32 suspected hoodlums arrested on Wednesday by the Lagos State Task Force on Environment Special Unit at the popular Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market in Mushin.
The suspects, who pleaded guilty, were sentenced to 60 days imprisonment without an option of fine. The court also granted bail to 10 suspected “Bakassi Boys” arrested in the market on Monday.
Speaking with our correspondent, the state principal counsel, Babatunde Sunmonu, who confirmed this, said the 10 suspected “Bakassi Boys” who pleaded not guilty had been granted bail with N50,000 each with two sureties each of whom must not be a civil servant in the state.
He explained that each of the sureties must be able to provide evidence of tax payment for 12 years and must have landed properties in Lagos. Suspected “Bakassi Boys” were arrested at the Aguyi Ironsi section of the market with charms and other weapons by the Task Force and Rapid Response Squad, RRS. Meanwhile, it has been estimated that trading in the market worth N2 billion daily.
A visit to the market yesterday showed that the market, with over 500 shops, was still under lock. Armed policemen, who cordoned off the market, searched passers-by. Some traders were loitering around the market without undertaking trading activities while many containers loaded with goods were outside. One of the traders, who simply identified himself as Chukwuma, bemoaned his losses since the closure of the market.
The trader, however, expressed optimism that the market would soon be reopened. He said: “Our chairman with other executives had been meeting since morning.
They have even sent a delegation to the state government and I hope by next week, everything would be resolved. I pray they resolve the matter so that commercial activities can resume in earnest because we cannot quantify the losses.” Another trader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was arrested by the Task Force enforcing the closure order and had to pay N15,000 to bail himself