The Lagos State Government has announced the indefinite suspension of the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Eyin Eyo, Idumota Bridge and Church Street due to the recent violence in the areas.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, made the announcement during a stakeholders meeting in Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday.
He was quoted as saying in a statement, “In a bid to fulfil one of the cardinal objectives of the THEMES agenda of the present administration in Lagos State as it relates to security and good governance under traffic management and transportation, the Lagos State Government has suspended the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Eyin Eyo, Church Street and Idumota Bridge indefinitely due to recent acts of violence in these areas.
“This ban is to tackle the crises often caused by the activities of the union to prevent further acts of violence in Idumota. However, the Lagos State Parks Monitoring Authority will resume at Eyin Eyo, while the Rapid Response Squad will station an Armoured Personnel Carrier on the Idumota Bridge.”
Earlier, Two top members of the NURTW in Lagos State, Kunle Lawal popularly known as Kunle Poly and Mustapha Adekunle popularly known as Tafa Sego were on Monday arrested in connection with the weekend clash in Lagos Island.
The NURTW chiefs had honoured the police invitation at the Rapid Response on Monday where they were detained.
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The commander in charge of the RRS, Olayinka Egbeyemi, later transferred the two top NURTW members to the Zonal headquarters of the Zone 2 police formation in Onikan.
A source at the RRS who pleaded anonymity confirmed the arrest of the duo.
The source said: “They were invited in connection with the last weekend clashes on the Island of the state.
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“They both arrived here around past 4 O’clock and were briefly interrogated by our commander who later transferred them to Zone 2 Onikan.”
The clash on the Island may not be unconnected to the battle for supremacy between the groups just as the general elections approach.
While Kunle Poly is believed to lead a faction, Tafa Sego who is an ally of the state NURTW chairman, Musiliu Ayinde Akinsanya popularly known as Oluomo leads another faction.
RRS on its verified Facebook page said it “arrested the two principal suspects in the constant clashes in Idumota and its environs which has intermittently crippled commercial activities in the area.
“The arrest was effected today at a meeting where the two NURTW members along with some other stakeholders converged.”
The unit also stated: “The latest clash which occurred last week Thursday reportedly led to the death of a victim while commercial activities were paralyzed in the area for some time until a joint team of police officers were deployed immediately to the area to restore peace.”
RRS confirmed that “Kunle Poly and Sego are presently being transferred to Zone II, Onikan, Lagos.”
Reacting, the NURTW Lagos State Council Chairman Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (aka MC Oluomo) described the action as a welcome development in resolving the crisis.
“We need to allow the police to do their job without intervening in it. Their investigation would unravel the truth behind the intermittent clashes and bring it to an end,” Akinsanya said.
Akinsanya urged union members to go about their lawful activities in peace, warning that anyone found causing crisis would face the law.
Court remands Kunle Poly, two others for 30 days
Meanwhile, a Yaba Chief Magistrate’s Court in Lagos State on Thursday, 27th January, remanded Lagos Island ‘B’ Branch chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Azeez Adekunle Lawal aka Kunle Poly in the custody of the Nigeria Police Zonal Monitoring Unit, Zone 2 Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos.
Kunle Poly was remanded alongside two others – Prince Idowu Onikoyi Johnson and Agboola Akeem Kosoko – 30 days, over last Thursday’s deadly clash at Idumota, Lagos Island.
Chief Magistrate Linda Balogun made the remand order after an application moved by the Police counsel, Mr Morufu Animashaun.
Animashaun based his application on section 264(1), (2), (3), (4) and (6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State (ACJL), 2021; sections 4 and 10 of the Police Act, 2020, and sections 6(c), 35(1)(C)(5) and (7)(a) of the 1999 Constitution.
The police prosecutor argued that the remand order was needed to enable the police conclude the investigation of allegations of threat to life and property, violence, cultism, mayhem, conduct likely to cause breach of peace, unlawful possession of firearms, conspiracy, and murder against the defendants.
The Chief Magistrate held that “I have listened to the submission of the counsel, as well as perused the application for remand and the attached affidavit.
“I find merit in the application and it is accordingly granted. The three defendants are to be remanded in the facility of the Nigeria Police Zonal Monitoring Unit, Zone 2 Headquarters, Onikan-Lagos, for the next 30 days, to enable the police to conclude investigation”.