Police in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, say they have released the 123 Northerners who were intercepted in a truck with 48 motorcycles by the State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offenses Task force.
Concise News had reported that the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Task Force on Friday intercepted a truck with registration number HDJ 680 XA loaded with 48 motorcycles and over 100 persons.
Government officials ordered all the occupants to alight as the presumed motorcyclists had squeezed themselves among the motorcycles.
According to the Lagos government, the truck was seized following a tip-off by members of the public who raised security concerns.
Spokesman for the police in the commercial state, DSP Bala Elkana, said after profiling of the men, nothing incriminating was found on them.
Chairman of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offenses Task Force, Yinka Egbeyemi, had explained that the interception on Friday was a proactive step to protect the state against any external attack.
“While my team was on operation, we got information from the public that some people had entered into Lagos in trailer loaded with over 300 people. We swiftly responded to the alert and trailed the truck from Berger area to Agege. We eventually intercepted the truck which carried no few than 123 men and 48 motorcycles,” Egbeyemi had said.
“We have interrogated most of the truck’s occupants; from the information we gathered, some of them said they were coming from Jigawa State, with 48 of them claiming to own seized motorcycles. The rest of them said they came to Lagos in search of greener pasture.”
Lagos government clarifies arrest
Meanwhile, the government of Lagos also noted on Saturday evening that residents alerted officials of the Task Force due to how occupants of the truck conducted themselves.
“The mass movement of the arrested suspects with large quantity of used motorcycles aroused the suspicion of Lagosians who duly alerted men of the State Task Force,” the government tweeted.
The State Government also allayed the fears expressed, especially on the Social Media that the arrests were directed at a particular section of the country, stressing that this is the handiwork of mischief-makers. #LASG #ForAGreaterLagos @jidesanwoolu pic.twitter.com/o4H7G6y8RZ
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) August 31, 2019
“It must be emphasised that the checks and arrest made by men of the Lagos State Task Force, was a proactive step, against speculated cases of Boko haram insurgency and banditry attacks across the nation.
“The case on hand, is purely a security matter which the Lagos Police Command is capable of handling professionally.”