COVID-19: How 8 suspects arrested over breach of protocols tested positive for virus — Lagos task force boss

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…Alerts public on the presence of fake taskforce men

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce) has revealed how eight persons, out of scores arrested over breach of COVID-19 protocols in the state tested positive of the virus.

Chairman of the Agency, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Shola Jejeloye, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on his mission and vision, at the agency’s headquarters, Oshodi, stressed that the task of the agency is to enforce rules and regulations, warning that enforcement is not friendly.

Jejeloye said in line with Public Health Regulations and Protocols’ 2020, and directive of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directive on enforcement of COVUD-19 protocols, the agency on collaboration with stare police command arrested some people caught flouting the guidelines in an operation during ‘Covid19 Mid-night Curfew,’ as directed by Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu.

According to him, when screening and test were conducted on the suspects, eight out of the lots tested positive for COVOD-19 and were immediately isolated for immediate treatment.

“As I speak they are still under treatment at Infectious Diseases Hospital, IDH, Yaba,” he said.

Jejeloye stated that the State Government will not hesitate in bringing the full weight of the law to bear on any person or organization caught breaching ‘Public Health Regulations and Protocols’ with regards to the COVID19 disease.

According to the Chairman “if we don’t do these, the surge will continue and with the new strain of COVID19 which is becoming much more difficult to handle than the old strain, the Lagos State Government will continue to insist and encourage residents to please obey all the COVID19 protocols.”

Jejeloye, however, urged citizens to always wear face masks at all times, properly wash or sanitize their hands regularly, and practice physical distancing in compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines, warning that anyone caught flouting the guidelines would be arrested and be prosecuted accordingly.

Jejeloye stressed that the task of the agency is to enforce rules and regulations, warning that enforcement is not friendly.

He, therefore, urged members of the public to be law-abiding and desist from flouting rules and regulations in order to avoid the wrath of the Agency.

Taskforce boss, who was emphatic about the activities of commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as “Okada riders” flouting traffic rules, said the agency has impounded no fewer than 300 motorbikes plying restricted routes since his assumption of office.

“There is no week I will not remove 100 bikes from the streets, enforcement is not friendly. In Yaba alone, we impounded about 70 Okadas today, (Wednesday). We are not going to relent until we restore sanity on our roads”, he warned.

On fake officers, Jejeloye lamented that the activities of fake persons parading themselves as officials of the agency had dented it’s image.

He, therefore, urged members of the public to assist the agency in tracking fake operatives that extort them, thereby rubbishing the image of the agency and the state government.

“Report any slightest misconduct of genuine and fake operatives to the agency for necessary disciplinary action,” he urged the public.

According to him, several measures have been put in place to distinguished between fake and genuine personnel of the agency.

The taskforce boss disclosed that operatives of the agency do not operate with commercial or private vehicles, adding that any one who parades self as an operative of the agency while operating in the commercial or private vehicle should be regarded as fake and be reported immediately to the agency for necessary action.

“You must have been aware of a report on the social media that a car was allegedly impounded by our operatives with T4 bus.

“Let me state categorically that we have not empowered any of our operatives to impound Okada or vehicles with any vehicle that is not branded with our logo, we don’t use T4 as alleged.

“Whenever or wherever you notice anybody arresting commercial buses drivers or Okada with T4, please call us and we will storm the place immediately. We have put in place a quick response mechanism to address that”, Jejeloye said.

He said the agency will soon launch a new jacket for its officials for easy identification during operations.

Jejeloye, who however noted certain shady deals by some civilian staff attached to the agency, vowed that anyone caught in the act henceforth will be prosecuted accordingly and shown the way out.

“Just last week, I lectured them for three days on the dos and don’t of the agency. On no account should they bear stick or arms during operations.

“We are going to give them new uniforms and we are going to be changing it every three months and it will carry individual numbers for proper identification. I told them that the only time they are our staff is when you wear our jacket,” Jejeloye maintained.

Speaking further, the taskforce boss, assured that the agency has resolved to work on the public perception of its image in order to earn the confidence of members of the public.

He, however, lamented that an average Nigeria does not see policemen as human beings and doesn’t accord them the respect they deserve.

Vanguard News Nigeria