Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, says Special Task Team on the City Cleaning and Management inaugurated by the FCT Administration has secured conviction and sentencing of 25 Commercial motorcyclists otherwise known as Okada riders to jail without option of fines, for violating the subsisting ban on their activities in Abuja.
The minister revealed that since the inception of the Task Team till date, it has prosecuted 41 offenders at the mobile courts, which culminated in the conviction and sentencing of 25 Okada riders to jail without option of fines and the discharge of 4 persons while the cases involving other offenders are ongoing.
According to the minister, who made this disclosure yesterday, during the FCT Operations Briefing Session in Gwarinpa I District (Life-Camp), Abuja, the Team has within the period arrested 492 commercial sex workers and 128 miscreants/urchins as well as 17 mentally ill persons.
He further disclosed that all the arrests made were followed with prosecution under the environmental mobile courts. The Task Team has however complained that some of the penalties which most of the offenders receive often ranging between N3,000 to N5,000 only are light.
On non-usage of pedestrian bridges and destruction of barricades, the Minister warned those residents disobeying to henceforth use the overhead bridges for crossing the highways or face the full wrath of the law.
Mohammed therefore directed the security agencies particularly the Police and the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) to deploy personnel to some critical points to enforce compliance with the usage of the pedestrian overhead bridges in critical areas such as Area 1, 3 Garki, Kubwa, Lugbe and Dei-Dei respectively.
Meanwhile, the Task Team is headed by the FCT Police Commissioner, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu, stressed the need for the review and strengthening of the fines and penalties in the AEPB laws or to get the Area Councils, particularly, AMAC, Bwari and Gwagwalada to enact Bye-Laws with severe penalties to complement the AEPB Act.
According to the Police Commissioner, “this is quite necessary to assist the FCT Administration realize its objective in this regard.”
It was gathered that the meeting was attended by the FCT Police Commissioner, representative of the Commandant of Brigade of Guards, Mandate Secretaries, Commandants of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) respectively, representatives of the Directorate of State Security Services and NDLEA respectively, the FCT Comptroller of Prisons as well as the Directors of the FCT operational departments.