There was palpable pandemonium and confusion along the Badagry-Seme Expressway earlier today as police officers believed to be under the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Special Squad raided a number of illegal checkpoints mounted by security personnel along the axis.
According to usually dependable sources, the IGP Squad chased and arrested some police officers and other security agents found at some of the checkpoints, believed to have been created purely to extort.
The development may not be unconnected with the recent meeting of between the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and the IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, and their resolve to free the axis which serves as the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor of illegal checkpoints.
The activities of the illegal checkpoints has reportedly led to all manners of disruptions to movements of goods and people, and believed to have also hindered trade facilitation; apart from the negative image such actions exposes the country before the regional and continental community.
It will be recalled that during the CGC’s courtesy visit to the IGP at the Force Headquarters, the two leaders among other issues discussed the menace of the proliferation of checkpoints along the Lagos Mile 2-Badagry-Seme Border axis; during which time they appealed to the management of all security agencies operating within the axis to look into the possibility of rationalizing the checkpoints.
The brilliant and enthusiastic IGP had assured the equally savvy and target driven Customs boss that the Nigeria Police Force is fully committed to dismantling the illegal checkpoints on the affected roads.
Our reporter learnt that the raid would be sustained until bad eggs within the respective agencies responsible for the blight are completely removed through sanctions and punishments.
It will also be recalled that the Seme Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, since assuming control of the area command, has remained upbeat and in the forefront on plans to change the narrative.
Fielding questions from journalists recently, the Seme Customs boss said the process to eliminate the menance of illegal checkpoints along the route is on, despite that it is slow; and assured that the Seme Agencies Committee is determined to reduce and control allowable checkpoints.
“Everybody is sincere about the collective desire to reduce the check points here”, he said.
Unconfirmed report say two policemen from Area ‘K’ Command Agbara-Oko Afon were among those arrested by men of the special squad. fforts to get the Lagos Police Command clarify the developments proved unsuccessful as the Command Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Kundeyin who was contacted said he was engaged and promised to get back.
Reacting to the development, maritime stakeholders commended the IGP for commencing the cleansing of the axis and urged him to take the action to its logical conclusion, until the axis is completely free of the illegal checkpoints.