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Alleged illegal taxi operators arrested in Lagos

Oluwatobi Akindele

Four taxi operators have been arrested for alleged illegal operation in the Agege area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the accused – Alfa Abubakar Sakariyaw, Salaudeen Hassan, Emmanuel Adetunji and Aliu Akangbe –allegedly painted their taxis in the yellow colour of the Lagos State Taxi Drivers and Cab Operators Association, but were operating under the National Union of Road Transport Workers, which was illegal.

But Sakariyaw, who said he was the Agege branch chairman of LSTDCOA from 2004 to 2012, explained that after consistent raids in Agege by the state task force men, the members decided to join NURTW.

Another member, Hassan, said, “When we had issues with the government task force and LSTDCOA did not intervene, we joined NURTW (Taxi Sector) and a letter was written to notify LSTDCOA that we were no longer members of the association.”

The spokesman for LSTDCOA, however, said it was illegal for the accused to paint their taxi yellow, adding that only LSTDCOA members were permitted to do so.

The four operators were arraigned on Thursday before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court on one count of conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.

The offence, according to the police prosecutor, Raphael Donny, contravened sections 411, 380(1) and 168(d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The presiding magistrate, A.O Adedayo, admitted them to bail in the sum of N100,000 each, with one surety each in like sum.

The case was adjourned till, June 26, 2018.

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