The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit (Task Force), yesterday, said its officials were not responsible for enforcement compliance activities that led to a commercial bus driver setting himself ablaze to resist vehicle being impounded by security agents in 7 and 8 area of Ajao Estate on Tuesday.
Reacting to the incident, the chairman of the agency, Shola Jejeloye, explained that when the incident occurred, his officers were still at their headquarters. He said Task Force has no hand in it.
He said: “The accusations were inaccurate as investigations and eyewitness account at the scene revealed that the driver, Mr. Ayo also known as Eru, poured petrol on himself to scare the security operatives from enforcing the traffic law, which he violated. After the operatives had left, luck ran out on him and some of the hoodlums present mistook him for one of the security operatives and set him ablaze.”
The chairman said the act of setting self ablaze, robbing self with faeces, chasing enforcement officers with urine and other acts are the new ways of resisting arrest by recalcitrant motorists who have developed the habit and passion for violating the state traffic and environmental laws.
Jejeloye explained that one Mr. Festus Ugbesia from Mafoluku area of Oshodi, who claimed to be the owner of the bus, drove the victim from the scene of the incident down to the agency headquarters, inciting member of public against the agency that the officials of the task force had been fingered for setting the victim ablaze.
He said: “It later dawn on him that the Task Force had no hand in the incident when he discovered that our officials were still on the parade ground preparing for the task of the day, while the transport department of the agency was still sourcing for petrol for their operational vehicles at the headquarters.
“We have had many instances where imposters carry out illegal activities and mention the name of Task Force in the process thereby leading to people pointing accusing fingers at us. We have arrested a few of them and we will keep doing so until they desist from tarnishing the image of the agency.”
The chairman also appealed to residents to support the agency in its efforts to instill discipline on the highways.