The Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), popularly known as KAI, has refuted the contents of a viral video on Facebook where a female street trader at Oyingbo market accused officers of sexual harassment while dislodging street traders, saying the clearance operation was duly authorised to dislodge traders who have completely taken over the walkway opposite the market after repeated warnings.

A statement signed by the Corps Marshal of the Agency, Mrs. Gbemi Akinpelu (Rtd), said the female trader was only trying to whip up sentiments to deter the officers from carrying out their duties with the false allegations. 

She added that an investigation into the claim had revealed that the said woman was notorious for constituting a nuisance on the main road with the open display of her wares which extended to the walkway.

Akinpelu stated that the in-house investigation also revealed that it is the stock in trade of the particular woman to cry wolf when there was none, as similar false allegations of KAI operatives pestering her for love has led to the redeployment of three Sectional Heads at different times until investigations revealed the motive behind the false accusations.

According to her, the recalcitrant street trader and several others flouted the Lagos Environmental Management Protection Law by erecting a wooden kiosk with the intent to display raw foodstuffs for sale on the walkway at Oyingbo, thereby impeding vehicular and human movement in the area. 

“As the premier environmental enforcement Agency set up by the Lagos State Government under the Ministry of Environment to rid the State of environmental nuisances in response to complaints from motorists and pedestrians, we are committed to enforcing the State’s law by dislodging illegal street traders”, she stated.

The Corp Marshal noted that the incident/operation which took place on Monday 17th, April, 2023 was a fallout of the stakeholders’ meeting held on Saturday, 15th April,2023 which had in attendance relevant stakeholders including the Vice chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon Jibril Emilagba and Iyaloja of Oyingbo market in which a resolution was reached that all make-shift shops used for trading on the median, drainages and setbacks be evacuated on Monday, 17th April, 2023. 

Akinpelu explained that the said woman has, on several occasions, harassed corps officers on lawful duties to attract sympathy and incite mob action against them. However, our officers who are trained in line with global best practices, reported the encounter to the headquarters for further instructions. 

“The authorities of Lagos Mainland Local Government and the Iyaloja are on the same page with KAI on this issue and have promised not to allow any street trader to return to the cleared points both in front of the Oyingbo market and along the road to enable free flow of traffic”, the Corps Marshal averred.

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