Okada ban: Police commissioner says mobile court will try defaulters

Lagos police commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, has said that there is a plan in place to have a mobile court that will try Okada riders who go against the Lagos State government’s ban.

He said this during an interview with Channels TV on the ensuing conversation around the recent ban of Okada in some areas of Lagos State.

According to Alabi, this is important so that the Okada riders don’t congest the cells with the regular law defaulters.

What they are saying

While the enforcement has been implemented over time by different administrations, the question about what would happen differently this time has been raised by many. The commissioner however said the police force will change its strategy and ensure that the law is enforced to the fullest as it focuses on the intensity of the enforcement.

“There are other areas giving us serious concern because as we keep banning Okada, some people are still buying this Okada as empowerment. As long as this continues, it will continue to give police problems. But then, there are so many dimensions that we are planning to use to tackle this in a holistic manner,” he said.

Speaking on how this would work exactly, he said that there will be an inter-agency collaboration and cooperation with the different agencies including the ones established by the Lagos government, and saddled with the responsibility of security.

Abiodun said, “Wherever you are arrested, either the passenger or the rider, they will be tried instantly without necessarily going to any cell. There is a plan in place to have a kind of mobile court  that will try Okada riders who are found wanting for going against the ban of Okada in specific places in Lagos State.”

He also stated that the Nigerian police has been having a lot of consultation with executive members of their association in various communities which have triggered the discovery that most of them are not licenced.

He said, “Most of them are criminals operating as Okada riders. We have arrested so many of them with locally made pistols in the course of their operation. We know that they are using Okada as a kind of disguise to perpetrate crimes in so many communities and that’s the reason we have been having a lot of consultation with their union. I believe the way out is to get them off our roads.”

On how to curb the crime rate which would likely be the resultant effect of the ban, he said, “We are anticipating that crime rate and unemployment rate will be high and we are working on strategy as regards that.”

While noting that the ban does not affect couriers, he added that the couriers would not be allowed to take passengers. He also said that owners of power bikes and uniform personnel are exempted but stated that uniform personnel who wishes to use their personal bike to and fro work must be on their uniform.

 Back story

Nairametrics had reported that Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a total ban of commercial motorcycle operators otherwise known as Okada riders in 6 local government areas in the state namely; Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa.
The development came barely 2 days after a task force in the state embarked on a serious clampdown of Okada riders on the Lekki axis.

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